Prime Minister David Cameron said UK will create two 5,000-strong “strike brigades” that can be rapidly deployed to help the UK respond to “diverse” threats….reports Asian Lite News
Cameron also provides details of an additional £12bn of equipment spending, as he outlines the Strategic Defence and Security Review in the Commons. It comes after the prime minister held talks with French President Francois Hollande following the 13 November attacks in Paris, claimed by so-called Islamic State (IS), which left 130 people dead.
Mr Cameron said he would make the case to MPs for extending air strikes against IS targets from Iraq into Syria. He also announced the replacement of the UK’s four ballistic missile submarines, with the MoD saying the estimated cost has now increased to £31bn.
The new “strike brigades” will be sourced from existing Army numbers and equipped to deploy across the globe. Nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft, filling a gap left by the decision to scrap a new generation of Nimrod aircraft besides a 10-year extension to the operational lifespan of the RAF’s Typhoon jets, until 2040, and upgrade work to give them ground attack capabilities – effectively adding two additional front-line squadrons.
The prime minister also outlined a reduction in the number of new Type 26 frigate being built, from 13 to eight. More than 20 new Protector drones, more than doubling the number of Reaper aircraft they replace.
Cameron said the “world is coming together” to fight so-called Islamic State.
Earlier speaking in Paris, the prime minister said it was his “firm conviction’ that the UK should join air strikes in Syria but the decision would be up to MPs.
He said he would set out his case to Parliament this week ahead of a vote expected before Christmas. The UK is making its Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus available to the French.
As France pushes for a stronger international coalition against IS in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, the French President said his country would “intensify” its action in Syria.
IS has also claimed recent attacks in Tunisia, Egypt, Beirut and Turkey among others.
Mr Cameron said Friday’s unanimously passed UN Security Council resolution, which pledged the international community to “redouble” action against IS, showed the unity there now was in the fight against violent jihadists in Europe and around the world.
“We have shown our firm resolve and together we will destroy this evil threat,” he said.
Currently, the RAF are only able to bomb such targets in Iraq, after MPs voted in 2013 to not allow bombings to take place in Syria. But they did later approve British air strikes against IS extremists in Iraq.
Mr Cameron is preparing to set out his plan for tackling the ongoing crisis in Syria this week, coming after a Foreign Affairs Committee report said the UK should not join allied bombing in Syria without a coherent international strategy on IS.
“I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike Isil in Syria and it is my firm conviction that Britain should do so too,” he said. “Of course that will be a decision for Parliament to make.”
Speaking later after arriving back in the UK, Mr Cameron said it was in the UK’s national interest “that we degrade and destroy this dreadful organisation”, using every resource available – military as well as diplomatic, political and humanitarian.