David Cameron to outline case for airstrikes in Syria

Published November 26th, 2015 - 07:21 GMT

David Cameron will try to convince MPs that British jets and drones should be striking so-called Islamic State targets in Syria when he addresses the House of Commons on Thursday.

The Prime Minister wants to see Britain join the likes of the United States and France in bombing the jihadist group.

The RAF is already hitting IS targets in Iraq, but Mr Cameron believes they need to attack "the head of the snake" in Syria.

Mr Cameron has promised to set out a "comprehensive strategy" for dealing with IS in his response to a report by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), which raised a series of concerns about the prospect of further UK military intervention in the region.

He thinks that the RAF's highly-accurate Brimstone missiles offer a capability which its allies lack.

Mr Cameron will warn Britain should not "sub-contract its security to other countries" while terrorists plan and orchestrate threats against the country.

He will say that Britain should not allow IS a "safe haven" in Syria and that the longer the group is allowed to grow, "the greater the threat it will pose”.

“We need a comprehensive response which seeks to deal with the threat that ISIL poses to us directly, not just through the measures we are taking at home, but by dealing with ISIL on the ground in the territory that it controls," Mr Cameron is expected to say in response to the committee report.

"It is in Syria, in Raqqa, that ISIL has its headquarters, and it is from Raqqa that some of the main threats against this country are planned and orchestrated.

"It is wrong for the United Kingdom to sub-contract its security to other countries, and expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the burdens and the risks of striking ISIL in Syria to stop terrorism here in Britain.

“That is why I believe that we should now take the decision to extend British airstrikes against ISIL into Syria, as an integral part of our comprehensive strategy to degrade ISIL and reduce the threat it poses to us.”

The Paris terror attacks of November 13, which left 130 people dead, have strengthened the Prime Minister's resolve to strike at the heart of IS.

Since the attacks, and the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, other nations including France, Russia and the US have pledged to take stronger action against the group.

The UN Security Council called on all "able states" to join the fight against IS militants in Syria and Iraq and redouble their efforts to prevent further attacks by the group.

As well as wanting to protect Britain from future attacks by IS, Mr Cameron does not want it to appear that the UK is unwilling to support its allies in the fight.


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