The Defence Secretary has said that the UK Government will once again ask MPs’ for their consent to launch airstrikes in Syria, despite parliament’s previous rejection of the policy in 2013.
David Cameron’s previous bid for military action was defeated in 2013. Back then UK forces would have intervened to attack Syrian government forces under president Assad…
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The Independent reports: Michael Fallon said that the circumstances in the country had changed and that MPs could be made to vote on the issue if the Government could be sure it would win.
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“At some point I think the new parliament will have to rethink the absurdity of us being able to strike against Isil in Iraq but not being able to strike Isil’s command and control centres in Syria,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Asked specifically whether the Government wanted permission to launch attacks on Syria, Mr Fallon replied: “Yes, but to get parliamentary approval we’d have to be absolutely sure that we’d win the vote and establish a sufficient majority for it.
“The circumstances have moved on. That was a motion about tackling Assad. The issue now is whether or not we’re prepared to deal with ISIL.”
In August 2013 Labour MPs joined with Conservative rebels to reject military action against the Assad regime by 285 to 272.
At the time the Prime Minister David Cameron said MPs had clearly rejected strikes and that “the government will act accordingly”.
Later that year Mr Cameron said “Parliament has spoken very clearly” on the issue, adding: “I’m not planning to return to Parliament again to ask again about British military action.
“That doesn’t mean we do nothing on Syria, we are already the second largest aid donor in delivering the humanitarian aid that is so badly needed both in Syria, and in the neighbouring countries of Jordan and Turkey.”
In 2013 UK forces would have intervened to attack Syrian government forces under president Assad. Any vote now would likely be to intervene against Isil, also known as Islamic State, who are fighting against the Assad government.
British warplanes are currently attacking Isil forces in Iraq but do not have permission to strike Syria.
The Government however yesterday revealed that RAF drones had killed two British national militants in Syria. Mr Cameron told Parliament that Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin died in a drone strike near Raqqa, Syria on 21 August 2015.