UK Prime Minister David Cameron calls for British air strikes against IS in Syria

Friday, November 27, 2015

Yesterday, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron urged Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons to support British air strikes against Islamic State in Syria. Mr Cameron said MPs will vote on the issue if he believes he has enough support in the Commons to join allies currently bombing IS targets in Syria.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants to join allies in Syria to tackle Islamic State
Image: Zasitu.

Prime Minister Cameron's address to MPs responded to a Foreign Affairs Committee report from early this month which discouraged UK involvement against IS in Syria. MPs on the committee raised concerns that there is not a "coherent international strategy" on how to tackle IS in Syria and how to end the ongoing conflict in Syria. The report also questioned the legality of action against IS in Syria.

David Cameron attempted to appease concerns during his speech by outlining the government's long term strategy which includes humanitarian support in Syria, rebuilding Syria following the current civil war and working with allies against IS. He also said the UK does not "have the luxury of being able to wait until the Syrian conflict is resolved".

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's opposition Labour Party, has said he will not support air strikes. Responding to the Prime Minister's speech, Corbyn raised several concerns including whether UK involvement will help defeat IS and if air strikes will encourage terrorist attacks in the UK.

Prime Minister Cameron said IS are a threat to UK security and they already see the UK as a target for attacks. He argued Britain cannot "subcontract its security to other countries", and said action against IS in Syria would increase safety for the UK.

Mr Cameron said he is not going to seek a vote from MPs unless he is confident they will support action against IS in Syria. Despite Jeremy Corbyn's concerns, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell indicated Labour MPs should be given a free vote on the issue, saying: "it is better to allow MPs to make their own minds up".