Prime Minister David Cameron urged MPs to back military actio against Islamic State militants in Syria….Asian Lite News
Cameron published his response to a recent Foreign Affairs committee report on air strikes ahead of the speech.
“The threats to our interests and to our people are such that we cannot afford to stand aside and not to act,” said Cameron.
MPs rejected strikes against Syrian government forces in a 2013 vote, but have since authorised action against ISIS in Iraq. A Commons vote is expected within weeks on whether to authorise air strikes.
Mr Cameron is expected to tell MPs: “Decisions to use force are not to be taken lightly.
“It is right that Parliament, on behalf of the people, asks difficult questions and holds the government to account.”
The Foreign Affairs Committee report set out a number of tests it said should be met before air strikes were considered.
The committee said there should be no military intervention without a “coherent international strategy” on tackling IS and ending Syria’s civil war.
Mr Cameron, whose statement comes just under a fortnight since the terror attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, will need to convince enough MPs from other parties to back his case in order to offset any Conservative rebels.
The government argues it is “illogical” to restrict action to Iraq as IS does not recognise the border between the countries.
Raids on Raqqa
Cameron earlier said the Paris attacks had strengthened the case for air strikes inside ISIS strongholds in Syria. “I wanted to do the right thing for our country and hit the ‘head of the snake’ of IS in Raqqa, Syria,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Mr Cameron said: “Raqqa, if you like, is the head of the snake. Over Syria we are supporting our allies – the US, France, Jordan and the Gulf countries – with intelligence, with surveillance and with refuelling.
“We face a direct and growing threat to our country and we need to deal with it not just in Iraq but in Syria too.”
He said Britain could not protect its people “by sitting back and wishing things were different”, or letting other countries “carry the burden”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said any military response should have the support of the international community and legality from the United Nations. A number of senior Labour MPs, including former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie and shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden, spoke in the Commons about the need to give full support to the police and security services
Mr Cameron has promised British air strikes against IS will not be extended to Syria without Parliament’s consent – and said he would only hold another vote when he was sure of a “consensus” among MPs.
Downing Street has stressed it is not setting out a timetable publicly for a Commons vote yet.
Cameron told the Commons he would be setting out a “full spectrum” approach, to include military action, counter-terrorism, humanitarian support and strategies for “defeating the poisonous narrative of extremism”.