British niche capabilities would make a difference in Syria French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
The piece in the Guardian newspaper was published after Prime Minister David Cameron urged parliament on Thursday to back British air strikes against Islamic State in Syria.
David Cameron told MPs Britain could not “subcontract its security to other countries”.
Jean-Yves Le Drian wrote:
“We need British defence capabilities to win this war. The Royal Air Force is already in action over Iraq. Its involvement over Syria would make a practical difference.
The RAF has significant capabilities for precision air strikes, aerial reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling support. On a daily basis, its Tornado aircraft and unmanned drones are causing very severe damage to Islamic State in Iraq. The use of these capabilities over Syria would put additional and extreme pressure on the terror network.”
Cameron also argued that particular capabilities of the RAF, Raptor reconnaissance pods on its Tornado aircraft and their ability to deliver small but highly accurate Brimstone missiles, provide something that others don’t have.
It is claimed that this “niche” capability is one that even the Americans don’t have and combined with the Raptor pod, itself responsible for some 60% of the tactical intelligence gained over Iraq, is a useful capability to bring to the air war.