The questions that must be asked before we start bombing Syria | Letters

Simon Jenkins is right to denounce bombing as almost always immoral and useless, as the UK bombing of Syria proposed by Mr Cameron will unquestionably be (The dangerous delusion of drone bombs, 18 September). But he is wrong to ascribe the Serb withdrawal from Kosovo in 1999 to the threat of a Nato land invasion: the Serbs knew perfectly well that there was no unanimity in Nato in support of such a military operation despite Mr Blair’s enthusiasm for it, that the US Congress would never have agreed to it, and that it would have been impossible without US participation.

The Serbs climbed down only when President Clinton acknowledged to Russia’s President Yeltsin that there could be no solution without Russian involvement. Washington and Moscow agreed on a radical replacement of Nato’s ultimatum, and Russian and American diplomats Viktor Chernomyrdin and Strobe Talbott, with the great Martti Ahtisaari, then president of Finland, took it to Belgrade. Once they saw that Russia was backing the revised plan and would participate in its implementation, the Serbs caved in, as was inevitable.

Related: West ‘ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria’s Assad step aside’

Related: Syria drone strikes: UK attorney general refuses to disclose advice

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