Written by Tharushan Fernando
03 Dec, 2015 | 5:31 pm
Britain’s parliament voted yesterday to launch bombing raids against Islamic State in Syria, supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s case that Britain needs to help destroy the ISIS militants.
After more than 10 hours of tense debate, lawmakers voted in favour of air strikes, by 397 to 223. British Tornado GR4 bombers could leave an air base in Cyprus within hours to launch the country’s latest military action in the Middle East.
Given Britain’s diminished role on the world stage, the victory hands Cameron the chance to restore Britain’s standing in global affairs. He had urged lawmakers not to turn their back on allies such as France in their time of need.
Many British voters are wary of being dragged into another war in the Middle East.
Some view Western intervention in Iraq and Libya as a failure that sowed chaos across the region and the news of the vote was met by howls of disgust by dozens of anti-war protesters demonstrating outside parliament.
Residents of the UK cities of Birmingham and Manchester gathered yesterday to protest against the vote
Germany’s parliament is also expected to vote on Friday in favour of joining the campaign against Islamic State, although only to provide military support for air strikes, not actually to take part in them.
The move comes despite dissent from the pacifist Left party and some opposition Greens.
According to a poll Yesterday shortly before ministers made their case to parliament for a new mission, German support for military involvement in the campaign against Islamic State has risen sharply with 42 percent backing action.
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