Hammond says support growing among MPs for striking ISIL in Syria

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Britain appears moving closer to a crucial decision to launch air strikes against ISIL terrorists in Syria. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday that the MPs are already moving towards a consensus in favour of strikes on ISIL inside Syria. 

Hammond said there was a growing feeling in parliament that something must be done to tackle the ISIL in its Syrian stronghold as well as Iraq.

“We have made a very clear commitment that before we get involved in airstrikes in Syria – other than very targeted cases where we are dealing with direct threats to the UK – yes, we would come back to parliament and get the authorisation,” he told the BBC after speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

“And I think there is a sense that there is a beginning of consensus now in parliament that this has to be dealt with, that we have to take the fight with IS [ISIL] to Raqqa in Syria, rather than just attacking them in Iraq.”

Hammond’s comments suggest the government is feeling more confident about calling a vote in the Commons, which David Cameron will only do if he knows he can win, wrote The Guardian. The prime minister would need to rely on some Labour votes, given the number of his own party who would be likely to rebel.

On a related front, the British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the Conservative party conference that the UK still wants to launch airstrikes against ISIL in Syria.

He said the UK must not leave it to the US, France and Australia to defend British streets against terrorists.

Fallon also said Britain must stand up to Russian aggression more strongly and that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was changing international borders by force – something not seen since World War Two. “In the face of this aggression, we have to show that our collective resolve is stronger than ever.”

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