Syria Vote: The UK will be joining the international coalition for attacking Islamic State targets in Syria.
The Syria vote decision comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron received approval from the Parliament in a 397-223 vote in favor of bombing ISIS sites in the war-torn country. As reported by USA Today, the debate lasted more than 10 hours, after which the House of Commons voted to join the U.S.-led coalition to launch airstrikes against the militant group. Cameron said attacking the “medieval monsters” in their base could make Britain safer.
While British warplanes are striking targets in Iraq, the Royal Air Force fighter jets will now fly over to Syria.
Cameron, who supported joining the international coalition, said in the debate, “This is not about whether we want to fight terrorism. It’s about how best we do that.” He further said that there is “a fundamental threat to our security,” adding, “Do we work with our allies to degrade and destruct this threat … or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”
The UK’s vote comes after French President François Hollande urged nations to form an international coalition to launch an attack on the Islamic State in the wake of the Paris attacks where 130 people were killed. The decision on UK bombing Syria was welcomed by President Barack Obama, who said in a statement, “Since the beginning of the counter-ISIL campaign the United Kingdom has been one of our most valued partners.”
Read also: Why ISIS hates the word “Daesh”
According to CNN, Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, rebutted Cameron’s support to launch airstrikes in Syria. He said that the decision is “one with potentially far-reaching consequences for us all, here in Britain, people in Syria and those in Middle East.” He further asked Cameron to explain “how British bombing in Syria will contribute to a comprehensive, negotiated, political settlement of the Syrian war.”
The Liberal Democrats and Democratic Unionists are in favor of the decision, while the Scottish National Party has stood against it. Cameron referred to Corbyn and other leaders and politicians belonging to parties disfavoring the Syria vote as “terrorist sympathizers.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. has been striking the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria. A special targeting force will be sent to Iraq to carry out raids, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “In full coordination with the government of Iraq, we’re deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and to put even more pressure on ISIL,” Carter said. “These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.”