BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has launched moves to bring the Syrian regime to trial for crimes against humanity.

The former minister opened a government e-petition urging the UK to spark an International Criminal Court investigation into the bloodbath.

If it receives widespread public support the focus will be on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whose attempts to crush dissent have led to the deaths of thousands.

Mr Field believes that the threat of a war crimes trial could lead to restraint and reduce the need for Britain to get involved in another Middle East conflict.

He said: “There is a terrible silence from politicians and government alike on one strategy that I believe could make a difference to what is going on in Syria which would not endanger a single service person’s life.

“Slowly, over time, countries are agreeing that, through international law, the idea of war crimes should be pursued through the International Court. Much of the Nazi regime was tried on this principle.

“Why there has not been a referral to the ICC on the murderous regime in Syria remains a mystery to me.

"This would have a sobering effect in Damascus.

“Not only on the leadership, but also on those lower down the hierarchy who are part of Assad’s killing troops. They will realise that they no longer act with impunity.

Mr Field has also written to the Chief ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, asking him to begin an investigation.

At the weekend Assad rejected any political dialogue with rebels despite an appeal by Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

To add your name to Mr Field's campaign, click the E-petition link below.

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