British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to recall the country’s parliament, which is currently in recess, to seek approval for joining the United States-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group’s strongholds in Iraq, according to a report by The Guardian.
Cameron, who is scheduled to meet the newly-elected Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly meeting, is expected to raise the topic of British airstrikes against the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIS, during the event, Reuters reported Wednesday.
There is reportedly a growing consensus in the U.K. that if Baghdad requests it, there will be a strong legal basis to launch airstrikes in Iraq. However, there is less clarity over whether the U.K. should join the airstrikes being carried out in Syria.
Cameron, on Tuesday, had given a strong indication that the U.K. might join the airstrikes in northern Iraq. He reportedly expressed support for the U.S. action in Iraq and Syria, and said that the U.K could “not opt out of” the fight against the Sunni militant group, which has taken over significant portions of territory in northern Syria and Iraq in its bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.
“These people (ISIS) want to kill us. They’ve got us in their sights and we have to put together this coalition… to make sure that we ultimately destroy this evil organization,” Cameron said, in an interview to NBC News Tuesday, adding that British airstrikes in Iraq haven’t been “ruled out.”
Cameron is also scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York — the first bilateral meeting between a British prime minister and an Iranian president since 1979 — to discuss Iran’s role in the fight against the Islamic State group.
At least 70 militants of the Islamic State group have so far been killed in airstrikes in the provinces of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasakah in northern and eastern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A number of militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra Front — al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate — including Abu Yousef al-Turki, a key leader, have also been killed.
Airstrikes, led by the U.S., began bombing ISIS bases in Syria on Monday night.