British MPs have voted in favour of military action in Iraq against the Islamic State by 524 to 43. The United Kingdom will now engage in combat operations against IS.
Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour MP’s all backed air strikes although some expressed concerns about where it would lead and the prospect of future engagement in Syria.
Prime Minister David Cameron said intervention at the request of the Iraqi government was “morally justified” is fully lawful.
As this article is being written, US and Arab jets continue bombing Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria. French Rafale jets also recently struck an Islamic State target in Iraq on Friday. The French Rafales hit “a logistics depot” near the city of Mosul. The mission lasted five hours, and included three aerial refuellings from French KC-135 tankers. A previous mission which took place earlier last week involved two Dassault Rafale fighter jets from No 3/30 squadron “Lorrain”, flying intelligence gathering missions carrying the RecoNG recce pod.
Denmark is to contribute seven fighter planes to the international coalition against IS while Belgium has offered six F-16s.
In his UN speech yesterday, Mr Cameron said the Iraqi government had made a “clear request” for international military assistance against IS. He said this provided a “clear basis in international law for action”.
A number of British Tornado GR4 aircraft, accompanied by a Voyager refuelling tanker have been flying reconnaissance missions over northern Iraq since they were deployed to the base at RAF Akrotiri a month ago.
A Rivet Joint SIGINT aircraft has also been flying missions from al-Udeid air base in Qatar to eavesdrop on IS communications.
It is my view that the UK is right to do this. ISIS are a direct threat to the United Kingdom, we should not outsource our own responsibility to deal with such threats by letting others do it for us.