The Prime Minister has said that tragic news of the beheading of British citizen David Haines by ISIS terrorists will not prompt the United Kingdom into a knee-jerk reaction, though he promised to “destroy ISIL with an iron determination”.
David Cameron announced moments ago that Britain’s strategy against ISIS remains the same – with the main idea still being to create a regional coalition to challenge ISIS, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others due to play a role.
He called the terrorist organisation – known as ISIS, ISIL, and the Islamic State – “the embodiment of evil” and claimed that the British government “will hunt down those responsible and bring them to justice no matter how long it takes”.
“The fact that an aid worker was taken… sums up what this organisation stands for,” he said.
“They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people… they boast of their brutality… they claim to do this in the name of Islam, that is nonsense, Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters”.
“They have planned and continue to plan attacks in europe and in our country”
Cameron laid out the current 5 point strategy in place: “First we will work with the iraqi government… we will support the Kurdish Regional Government who is holding the front line against ISIL… [Second], we will work at the United Nations to mobilise the broadest possible support to bear own on ISIL”.
“[Thirdly]…The united states is taking military action, we support that… this is not about British combat troops on the ground it is about working with others… we are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to keep our country safe”.
“[Fourth]… we will continue to support the humanitarian efforts, using the RAF (Royal Air Force) to do so”.
“[Fifth]… we will… continue to reinforce our formidable counter terrorism effort in this country”.
The lack of a refreshed response will likely attract criticism from those wishing that the West would take a stronger line on ISIS. Western leaders such as David Cameron and Barack Obama have used their press conferences about ISIS in recent weeks to make stronger statements about how “ISIS is not Islamic” rather than how they intend to tackle the terrorist group.
While a number of UK Muslim organisations have condemned the killing, it is clear that British security services fear attacks on the British homeland, and this may explain Cameron’s reluctance to go in harder against ISIS.
Mr Cameron spoke just after midday following his chairing of a Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA) meeting this morning.
He is said to have been upset with his new Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond earlier this week, when Hammond told a press conference in Germany that the UK had no plans to launch airstrikes in Syria. Mr Hammond was almost immediately contradicted by Number 10, who claimed that all options were still on the table.
Mr Hammond attended the COBRA meeting this morning but is said to have left early and before anyone else.