If not now when

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram David Cameron has urged MPs to back UK airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, saying that the terrorist organisation is using the sanctuary of northern Syria to launch plots with deadly intent against the British people.In a statement to the Commons the prime minister asked: “If not now, when?” Cameron said the UK could not afford to stand aside from the fight and it was morally unacceptable to leave the US, France and other allies to carry the burden.In a written response to the foreign affairs committee published before he addressed MPs, the prime minister says: “The threats to our interests and to our people are such that we cannot afford to stand aside and not to act. “Throughout Britain’s history we have been called on time and again to make the hardest of decisions in defence of our citizens and our country. Today one of the greatest threats we face to our security is the threat from Isil [Isis].” Cameron says: “The longer Isil is allowed to grow in Syria, the greater the threat it will pose. It is wrong for the United Kingdom to subcontract 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.”He says all seven terror plots in the UK this year have been directed by Isis or inspired by the group’s propaganda. He claims the terror group has an external operations group dedicated to causing mass casualty attacks around the world. He insists the strikes against Isis will be part of a comprehensive political and diplomatic plan to deny the group space and create the circumstances for an end to the civil war in Syria.The aim, he says, must be to close down ungoverned space. Cameron’s case was set out in a 36-page memorandum to the foreign affairs select committee, before he made his Commons statement on Thursday.Cameron said he would not call a vote in the Commons on airstrikes in Syria until he was sure there was a clear majority in favour of action as defeat would be a “publicity coup” for Isis. He told MPs that Britain must judge whether inaction in Syria carried greater risks than action. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, did not immediately make clear whether he would tell his MPs to back military action in a Commons vote. A shadow cabinet meeting to discuss the issue was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.Corbyn warned of “unintended consequences” if Britain got involved in military action in Syria in the same way it had in Iraq and Afghanistan, and urged the prime minister to make clear whether he was ruling out the use of UK forces on the ground. The Scottish National party’s leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson, said his party’s MPs would not vote for airstrikes in Syria unless they were convinced that there was effective ground support and a fully costed plan for postwar reconstruction.But the chairman of the foreign affairs committee – which earlier this month released a report urging caution over Syria – said he was now ready to back military action. Crispin Blunt said: “It is now my personal view that, on balance, the country would be best served by this house supporting his judgments that the UK should play a full role in the coalition, to best support and shape the politics, thus enabling the earliest military and eventual ideological defeat of Isil.”Source: theguardian.comlast_img

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