Syria air strikes: David Cameron pledges support for US bombing campaign

PM could recall Parliament this week to vote on UK military action

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The Independent Online

David Cameron could recall Parliament as soon as Thursday to authorise air strikes against Isis militants following the US-led overnight bombing campaign in Syria.

Up until now, Downing Street has been tight-lipped about exactly what timescale it envisages for ramping up the UK’s involvement in the actions against Isis.

But air strikes by the US and its Arab coalition partners against Isis around Raqqa in Syria is expected to speed the process up.

Today, Mr Cameron backed the air strikes and said he would hold talks at the UN conference in New York over what role the UK would take in any further action.

"The PM supports the latest air strikes against ISIL [Isis] terrorists which have been carried out by the US and five other countries from the Gulf and Middle East," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

"The PM will be holding talks at the United Nations in New York over the next two days on what more the UK and others can do to contribute to international efforts to tackle the threat we all face from ISIL.

"The UK is already offering significant military support, including supplying arms to the Kurds as well as surveillance operations by a squadron of Tornadoes and other RAF aircraft."

The move by the Prime Minister is likely to gain support in Parliament with Labour seemingly likely to signal its willingness to support a vote for limited military action at its conference in Manchester.

 

This clears the way for Parliament to be recalled on Thursday or Friday and vote for British air strikes against Isis positions in Iraq. However at this stage British forces are thought unlikely to play any role in Syria.

For domestic reasons the Conservatives would favour an early recall. Ukip is due to hold its annual conference on Friday and any Parliamentary debate would overshadow Nigel Farage’s key note event before the next election.

Downing Street has made clear that David Cameron would not authorise the participation of UK forces without the approval of MPs.

Any announcement is likely to be made at the United Nations in New York where David Cameron is currently attending the United Nations General Assembly. He is expected to make a speech in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “We understand and support the action taken by the United States and Arab allies in recent hours."Both the Prime Minister and the President are due in the United Nations this week so we are now urging a that resolution should be brought to the Security Council of the United Nations.

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