British leaders debate over extending airstrikes in Syria

London, Dec 3 (IANS) British political leaders indulged in a heated debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday over whether to extend British airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria.

British members of parliament (MPs) vehemently debated the government motion, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, before voting to decide whether to bomb IS militants in Syria, Xinhua reported.

The motion supports British military action, specifically airstrikes, against IS in Syria, but ruled out deploying troops in ground combat operations.

Opening the debate, Cameron said Britain “should not wait any longer” to reduce the threat of IS.

“We should answer the call from our allies. The action we propose to take is legal. It is necessary, and it is the right thing to do to keep our country safe,” he said in his opening speech.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, opposed extending Britain bombing into Syria, warning “the prime minister’s proposal for military action simply does not stack up.”

He also slammed the proposed military intervention as “yet another ill-fated twist in the never-ending war on terror.”

According to research conducted by the BBC, of the 640 MPs expected to vote, up to 362 MPs are in favour of supporting the motion while 175 are against, making it likely that Cameron will launch bombing missions in Syria within days if he wins the vote.

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