UK parliament voted yesterday to approve British air force participation in the anti-terrorism campaign in Syria. Few hours after the Parliament’s decision, british warplanes took off from RAF Akrotiki airbase in Cyprus. Tornado jets with precision warheads started the British campaign in Syria, with the aim of destroying terrorist targets, especially oil fields.
British intervention began after a 10-hour debate by lawmakers, with Prime Minister David Cameron pledging the Parliament to approve UK’s participation in the US-led campaign. Many members of the Parliament initially showed their disagreement, since Britain is already taking part in the Iraq campaign, while Cameron urged the Parliament “to take action now, to help protect us against the terrorism seen on the streets of Paris and elsewhere”.
Hilary Benn’s speech gave a change to the debate, convincing a larger majority of MPs -66 Labour MPs were persuaded- to vote in favor of the air strikes. As a result, British intervention was authorized by a majority of 397 to 223, with Cameron commenting that Britain is now “safer” against terrorist threats.
Even if British air strikes started yesterday, doubts remain about the Parliament’s decision and as John McDonnell MP reported, comparing Tony Blair’s speech-in favor of the Iraq campaign- to Cameron’s oration, “I’m always anxious that the greatest orators can lead us to the greatest mistakes”.
Isabella MILAN ALBERTIN