KEEPING UP WITH PUTIN: Britain joins the fight: RAF kills 30 ISIS terrorists
- PM says the case for bombing ISIS in Syria is ‘stronger’ after Paris attacks
- RAF Tornadoes used laser-guided missiles against ISIS fighters yesterday
- Kurdish fighters said the attack in Sinjar, Iraq had been ‘highly effective’
- British Reaper drone also provided support for French airstrikes in Syria
- But MPs have so far refused to support Britain bombing Syrian stronghold
- Russia launches ‘significant’ strikes against ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria
Britain could join airstrikes against ISIS in Syria within weeks after David Cameron revealed plans to push for a vote on attacking the ‘head of the snake’ in the terror group’s HQ.
The Prime Minister promised to publish on dossier setting out the case for the UK extending bombing raids into Syria, which he said had ‘grown stronger’ in the wake of the Paris terror attacks which left 129 dead and dozens wounded.
It came as the Ministry of Defence confirmed a British drone helped French jets carry out deadly airstrikes against ISIS in Syria at the weekend.
And yesterday RAF Tornados used a laser-guided Paveway bomb to find and kill 30 ISIS fighters massing for an attack against Kurdish forces.
Britain has carried out more tha 350 deadly strikes in Iraq since the Commons authorised military action a year ago.
But the UK is not taking part in the action in Syria. Mr Cameron was humiliated in 2013 when Tory rebels joined with Labour to vote down a plan to launch missile strikes against the Assad regime.
However, public outrage at the Paris attacks and the wider refugee crisis fuelled by the rise of ISIS has put the issue back on the table.
France’s ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann has said it would be ‘appreciated’ if the RAF carried out raids in Syria alongside the French.
In a statement to the Commons today, Mr Cameron made clear his determination to force the issue to a vote despite opposition from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Prime Minister told MPs: ‘It is in Syria, in Raqqa, that Isil has its headquarters and it is from Raqqa that some of the main threat against this country are planned and orchestrated.
‘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. But I believe, as I have said many times before, we should be doing more.
‘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.’
Mr Cameron added that he has always said there is a ‘strong case’ for joining attacks in Syria, saying Britain’s allies have asked for assistance.
He said: ‘The case for doing so has only grown stronger after the Paris attacks. We cannot expect, we should not expect, others to carry the burdens and risks of protecting our country.’
Downing Street will set out a detailed case for airstrikes in Syria to MPs in the next few weeks, in a formal response to a committee of MPs which has been critical of the idea.
‘I will set out our comprehensive strategy for dealing with Isil, our vision for a more stable and peaceful Middle East,’ Mr Cameron said.
‘This strategy in my view should include taking the action in Syria I have spoken about and I hope in setting out the arguments in this way I can help build support right across this House for the action I believe is necessary to take.
‘That is what I am going to be putting in place over the coming days and I hope colleagues from across the House will engage with that and make clear their views so we can have a strong vote in this House of Commons and do the right thing for our country.’
Answering questions in the Commons for 90 minutes today, the Prime Minister was repeatedly supported by Labour rebels furious at Mr Corbyn’s stance on terrorism.
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