Britain to vote for air strikes against DAESH in Syria

UK prime minister says it will hold vote in Westminster for air strikes against DAESH in Syria and Iraq

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron emerges from 10 Downing Street

The UK government denied pulling out plans for a vote in parliament to join air strikes against DAESH militant group in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted on voting in parliament to conduct air strikes against DAESH.  

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, consisting of cross-party MPs’ that analyses Britain’s foreign policy, said in a report that joining air strikes was “incoherent” and a distraction.”

Cameron’s office said that his position has not changed and the prime minister would not conduct air strikes without the support of the House of Commons.

"He's consistently said that we would only go back to the House on this issue if there was clear consensus," a Downing Street source said.

Meanwhile, the government continues to work to bring the conflict to an end in Syria and we are working closely with our allies to inject greater momentum into efforts to find a political solution.

Syrians walk through debris following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held town of Douma, east of the capital Damascus / Photo by Reuters

"We are concerned that the government is focusing on extending air strikes to Syria... without any expectation that its action will be militarily decisive, and without a coherent and long-term plan for defeating ISIL [DAESH] and ending the civil war," said the committee Chairman Crispin Blunt, a senior MP from Cameron's Conservative Party.

"There is now a miscellany of uncoordinated military engagements by an alarming range of international actors in Iraq and Syria," he said.

"These forces desperately need coordinating into a coherent strategy and that is where our efforts should be focused."

DAESH controlled areas as 'single theatre'

The British government argued that the air strikes need to be extended to Syria in addition to Iraq stating that DAESH controlled areas in the two countries should be seen as a “single theatre of conflict.”

The UK is part of a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) under the Operation Inherent Resolve since September 2014 and has been conducting air strikes in Iraq.

According to British media, Cameron made the new plan to vote in parliament after Russia started air strikes to support Bashar al Assad's regime, who is responsible for over 250,000 deaths in the country since civil war started in 2011.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that ministers could use “every tool available” to save people in Syria and Iraq.

"Air strikes against ISIL [DAESH] are not the sole solution but military action, in coordination with our coalition allies, is having a substantial impact in degrading ISIL [DAESH] in Iraq," he said.

"It is right that we continue to use military force against ISIL [DAESH] while we use diplomatic power to work towards a political solution in the Syrian war."

On the other hand, new leader of the main opposition Labour Party is leading an anti-war campaign.

TRTWorld and agencies