Citizens of any country should not be subjected to this sort of atrocity, too many lives lost, families left bereft and communities destroyed, that’s too high a price to pay for any society. No matter which country is involved, the outrage committed on ordinary people is unacceptable and yet hardly a year passes without some form of warfare erupting in parts of the world. When is enough going to be enough?

Although in a different context, we in Clydebank know only too well the effects of bombardment. I would suggest that if there is any doubt about the true cost of war on ordinary people, go and take a look at the communal grave in Old Dalnottar Cemetery, you will see the names of 528 known dead of men, women and children from this town who lost their lives in just two nights during March 1941. Entire families destroyed and our town almost wiped off the face of the earth, that’s the sort of reality the people of Syria are facing each and every day this conflict goes on.

It is right that the international community takes steps to avoid any further atrocities being committed; however, how does that happen without the potential of escalation? I’ve no doubts experts, diplomats and leaders from all nations will be focusing their attentions on this issue, as no one wants another war whereby the human cost becomes unbearable. I applaud the caution now being displayed from all sides despite the need for some form of intervention, but hopefully sense will prevail and any gung ho action is prevented and the UN calls an emergency meeting of its Security Council and a multilateral agreement on intervention on humanitarian grounds will be reached.

Perhaps by the time you read this piece major steps will have been taken to intercede, hopefully a ceasefire may have been agreed which will enable talks to take place to find a solution that may provide a way forward for each side. I know that is easy to say but difficult to achieve when so many factions are involved. This is something I suspect will be on many people’s minds, especially those who have experienced warfare and its effects on local communities, wherever they may be. So my hope is that our international leaders get it right, or at least move towards a workable solution which avoids any further loss of life. What else is there to hope for? The other options are too horrific to contemplate, invasion? Total war? The consequences of which will resonate for decades to come. I hope you agree there has been enough suffering and it’s time for a peaceful resolution.