Isis crisis: UK air strikes in Iraq would be legal, says Downing Street

MPs will vote on carrying out air strikes in Iraq on Friday

Andrew Grice
Friday 26 September 2014 06:50
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Dutch F-16 fighter bombers, similary to those been sent by Holland to Iraq.
Dutch F-16 fighter bombers, similary to those been sent by Holland to Iraq.

It would be legal for the UK to deploy forces in Iraq in response to the government's request for support in fighting Isis, Number 10 has said.

The announcement comes as MPs prepare to vote on Friday on carrying out air strikes against Isis in Iraq, but not Syria.

In an echo of the 2003 Iraq War, Downing Street published a summary of the legal advice on intervening in Iraq given by the Attorney General Jeremy Wright to today's Cabinet meeting, which backed air strikes.

It said: “The Government is satisfied that the consent of Iraq...provides a clear and unequivocal legal basis for the deployment of UK forces and military assets to take military action to strike Isis sites and military strongholds in Iraq.

”The UK will conduct military action in accordance with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.“

The Cabinet agreed the Commons resolution to be debated tomorrow, which says: “This motion does not endorse UK air strikes in Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a separate vote in Parliament...(The) Government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations.”

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