Cameron says time to bomb militants in Syria
AFP photoPrime Minister David Cameron said on Nov. 25 that it was time to join air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria because Britain cannot “subcontract its security to other countries.”
“It is wrong for the United Kingdom to sub-contract its security to other countries, and to expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the burdens and the risks of striking ISIL in Syria to stop terrorism here in Britain,” Cameron wrote in a response to the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which had said a policy to extend air strikes was “incoherent” without a strategy to defeat the militants, according to Reuters.
“We do not have the luxury of being able to wait until the Syrian conflict is resolved before tackling ISIL,” he said.
Cameron said in the 24-page response that the campaign against ISIL was entering a new phase, focusing on command and control, supply lines and financial support, something that suited Britain’s capabilities.
Fearful of losing standing on the world stage, Cameron said Britain should respond to requests from allies, including the United States, but said he would not put a vote to parliament unless there was a majority backing action.
Cameron lost a vote on air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in 2013 and must persuade some wary members of his own Conservative Party and in the opposition Labor Party to back him if he is to win parliament’s support for military action.
A day before, French President Francois Hollande urged Germany to do more in the fight against ISIL after he held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel following the Paris attacks.
Hollande said he hoped Germany “can do even more in the fight against Daesh [ISIL] in Syria and Iraq.”
Merkel said in response she would act “swiftly” to see how Germany could take up “additional responsibilities” to assist in the fight against terror. “We will be stronger than the terror,” she said.
Lawmakers from Germany’s ruling parties were set to meet on Nov. 26 to discuss how Berlin can provide more support to France in the fight against ISIL. Coalition sources told Reuters that new support measures under consideration included the deployment of German Tornado jets for reconnaissance flights and of refueling aircraft.
Hours before Hollande was scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 26 in Moscow, France and Italy said world powers need to step up efforts to stop ISIL from gaining ground in Libya while keeping up the fight against the militant group in Syria and Iraq.
“We’re focusing our attention on the Vienna process for Syria,” Renzi said, referring to international talks to try to find a political solution for Syria’s conflict.
“And we are particularly committed to opening this diplomatic window a little further to include Libya for the reasons President Hollande stated better than I have,” he said.