British Parliament to vote on Syria air strikes this week

British PM Cameron says parliament will vote on launching air strikes against DAESH in Syria on Wednesday

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech during the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK parliament will on Wednesday vote on starting air strikes in Syria against DAESH.

Cameron said he will invite members of parliament to vote on the matter after a one day debate on Tuesday, declining a call from opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbin’s for a two day debate.

"I believe there's growing support across parliament for the compelling case there is to answer the call from our allies, to act against ISIL [DAESH] in Syria and in Iraq," Cameron said.

The move comes after repeated calls from French President Francois Hollande for a stronger response to DAESH after the group claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris last month that claimed 130 lives.

"If we won't act now, when our friend and ally France has been struck in this way, then our allies in the world can be forgiven for asking 'If not now, when?" Cameron said, defending the motion in parliament last week.

A US-led coalition including France, Turkey and several Gulf Arab states has already been bombing DAESH in Syria.

Britain joined the air strikes against the terrorist group in Iraq but Cameron needs approval from Westminster to extend the operation into Syria.

The parliament is expected to approve the Cameron’s demands as there is strong support from the governing Conservative Party and opposition leader Corbyn, who is against air strikes in Syria, said he would not ask for a "party vote" after many members expressed support for the extension of operations.

Thousands of people gathered on Saturday in London outside Cameron's 10 Downing St. office chanting "Don't bomb Syria" and urging British lawmakers to object to the proposal.

"The proposed vote in parliament on bombing Syria by British forces is likely to take place within the next week," Stop The War Coalition, which organised the protests, said in a statement, adding that "yet this bombing will not stop terror attacks."

Cameron said in the House of Commons of the British Parliament that targeting terrorist camps in Syria would be in Britain's "national interest” and the UK cannot "subcontract its security to other countries."

DAESH extended the territory it is controlling after June 2014 and currently controls an area about the size of Britain, extending from central Syria to western and northern Iraq.

The group has declared the central Syrian city of Raqqa as its capital although the largest city it controls is Mosul, the second biggest city in Iraq.


TRTWorld and agencies