Britain is set to recall its parliament on Friday for emergency discussions on bombing the self-proclaimed Islamic State. It is likely that a vote will be held on Britain joining U.S. air strikes against the terror group, with bombing beginning very soon after.
Although a vote on bombing Assad’s regime in Syria failed last year, it is looking increasingly likely that parliament will approve military action this time. Last year, a last-minute change of heart by the Labour party meant that the government the vote on bombing Syria in a result that sent shock waves through the Western world.
However, given the recent beheading videos released by the Islamic State terror group, and widespread reports of massacres, the mood in Westminster is different this time, and a large number of Conservatives who were sceptical last time are likely to back the government this year.
Speaking to America’s NBC News this week, Prime Minister David Cameron said “you cannot opt out” of fighting IS.
“It has oil, it has money, it has territory, it has weapons and there’s no doubt in my mind it has already undertaken and is planning further plots in Europe and elsewhere,” Mr Cameron added.
Labour leader Ed Miliband is still keeping his cards close to his chest, however, telling BBC Breakfast today that he was merely “open to the possibility” of backing air strikes. He said: “How will I judge any proposal? Whether Britain can have an effect, whether we can succeed and whether it is legitimate and lawful. But I am open to the possibility.
“Before I commit British combat troops I want to look at what the proposition is and the nature of that proposition.”
He added that air strikes should have UN Security Council approval.
Public opinion is Britain is also shifting behind air strikes against the terror group. A poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain today found that 40 percent of the British public support launching air strikes in Iraq if parliament authorises them, compared to 36 percent opposed.
This is the first time that more Brits have supported air strikes than opposed them. Breitbart London reported on a similar poll at the start of the month, which found that 35 percent of the public would support military action, compared to 50 percent opposed.
If Britain does decide to launch a bombing campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, it is most likely that raids would be carried out from the sovereign bases on the Mediterranean island of Cyrus, which have already been used to carry out reconnaissance missions.
The Telegraph reports that RAF Tornado GR4 jets are ready to launch bombing raids as soon as the order is given. An RAF source told the paper: “The current aircraft in Akrotiri are sufficient to carry out significant drops on a small force like Isil. If the Prime Minister says start bombing tonight, we will begin bombing that night.”