Earlier this week, Cameron called on fellow heads of state to come together to support the UK’s anti-terror bombing campaign, aimed at the Islamic State.
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015, in Malta, over the last weekend, Cameron urged that the UK could not “wait for a political solution” and that it was imperative for MP’s to vote for the resolution as a way of keeping Europe safe.
This decision has been backed by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who, in an interview in the Telegraph on November 29, referred to IS as people who needed to be dealt with “by force”.
His words come just a day after the Stop the War Coalition’s march through London which opposed the attack. Thousands of people came out in defence of Syria and public figures, such as Frankie Boyle and Tariq Ali, signed a letter imploring Cameron to “stop arming reactionary and aggressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that sponsor terrorist groups and look for political solutions as the only viable way to end the conflict”.
— Joel Gunter (@joelmgunter) November 28, 2015
Such a sentiment was also shared by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who, until yesterday, was considering the ban on Labour MPs voting freely on the planned air strikes in Syria, set to be debated in the House of Commons tomorrow. In the run up to his statement allowing his party a free vote, there were calls for Corbyn’s resignation over his views on Syria, which has arguably led to a divided Labour party and shadow cabinet.
The decision to attack IS militarily stems from not only the recent Paris attacks but also the high terror alert levels many cities in Europe have been subjected to, namely Brussels and London, something Fallon highlighted in his interview: “The threat from Isil is as potent here as it was real in Paris and Brussels. It could be London, it could be Manchester, it could be Glasgow.”
The plan of attack, if the vote weighs in the Conservatives’ favour, is to send drones and ‘state of the art Typhoon jets’ into Syria, particularly Raqqa. The USA are keen for the Royal Air Force to be more involved in the air strikes, as their high precision weapons and technology could enable fewer civilian casualties.