LONDON — As the last rebel strongholds fell in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday amid widespread reports of atrocities by pro-government forces, Britain’s Parliament was back in a familiar place: debating, but not acting.

Debating is what Parliament was doing in the summer of 2013, when then-Prime Minister David Cameron was pushing for military action after credible evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government had deployed chemical weapons against its own people.

The debate ended with a shock: The House of Commons defied Cameron’s call and rejected by 13 votes a planned campaign of British airstrikes. Chastened by the loss of its British ally from the fight, the United States soon pulled back from its own ambitions for military action, with President Obama punting the matter to Congress.

As Parliament debated again on Tuesday in an emergency session called as women and children were reportedly being shot dead in their homes by advancing Syrian government forces, the memory of that earlier vote loomed large in the Palace of Westminster.

And it prompted two of Britain’s most prominent politicians to issue a particularly stinging charge: The tragedy of Aleppo, they told their fellow lawmakers, is partly your fault.


Read the whole story from The Washington Post.

Featured image courtesy of Parliament TV.