The British government has agreed a motion authorising British air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. The motion, which will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons tomorrow, makes clear that any air strikes will be aimed solely at ISIS-held territory in Iraq, after the British parliament last year voted against military intervention in Syria.
The motion states that the House “Condemns the barbaric acts of ISIL against the peoples of Iraq including the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians and Yazidi and the humanitarian crisis this is causing.”
It goes on to acknowledge that the Iraqi government has requested assistance in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and recognises that the terror group poses a wider threat to international security, and specifically to the UK through its sponsorship of international terror.
The motion specifically states that there will be no UK intervention in ISIS-held territory in Syria. It says: “[This House] notes that this motion does not endorse UK air strikes in Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a separate vote in Parliament.”
It also states that Britain will not send in ground troops to fight ISIS, however it concludes by saying that it “Offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty’s armed forces.”
The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that Commons Speaker John Bercow had agreed to recall Parliament from its annual recess to discuss the matter. MPs will meet tomorrow to debate and vote on the motion, with all three main parties declaring their support for air strikes.
Barring a huge upset, the motion will almost certainly pass, thus allowing the UK to begin aerial bombing almost immediately.
It is likely that Britain will use Royal Air Force Tornado jets, based in its sovereign bases in Cyprus, to carry out the strikes.