MPs vote for British air strikes in Syria
MPs have voted in favour of military intervention in Syria, to tackle the terrorist group known variously as IS/ ISIS/ ISIL/ Daesh.
The House of Commons today gave approvals to take military action against the group in Syria, following last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
As part of its continued campaign of terror, the group has publicly executed hundreds of men accused of homosexuality, by stoning and throwing them off buildings.
The government had gone to Parliament to seek approval for a motion calling for air strikes in Syria.
The motion passed this evening by a vote of 397 to 223.
It had broad support from Conservatives and Lib Dem MPs but faced opposition from the majority of Labour MPs, and the Scottish National Party.
A number of senior Labour figures, including shadow cabinet member Chris Bryant, defied leader Jeremy Corbyn by voting for the intervention.
Speaking in the Commons, PM David Cameron raised the executions of gay people by the terrorist group, which he refers to as Daesh.
He said: “I set out for the house last week our support for refugees in the region, the extra $1 billion we’d be prepared to commit to Syria’s reconstruction, and the broad international alliance we’d be prepared to work with in the rebuilding phase.
“Let us be clear: people will not return to Syria if part of it is under the control of an organisation that enslaves Yazidis, throws gay people off buildings, beheads aid workers, and forces children to marry before they are even ten years old.
“We cannot separate the humanitarian work from dealing with Daesh itself.”
He added of the group: “They want to attack us because of who we are, not because of what we do.”
Mr Corbyn said: “It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Prime Minister understands public opposition to his ill thought-out rush to war is growing – and wants to hold the vote before it slips from his hands.
“Whether it’s the lack of a strategy worth the name, the absence of credible ground troops, the missing diplomatic plan for a Syrian settlement, the failure to address the impact on the terrorist threat or the refugee crisis and civilian casualties.
“It’s become increasingly clear that the prime minister’s proposals for military action simply do not stack up.”
However, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn received a round of applause from some Labour and Conservative MPs following a speech supporting action.
He said: “No one in the debate doubts the deadly serious threat that we face from Daesh and what it does, although we sometimes find it hard to live with the reality.
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“In June, four gay men were thrown off the fifth storey of a building in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. In August, the 82-year-old guardian of the antiquities of Palmyra, Professor Khaled al-Asaad, was beheaded, and his headless body was hung from a traffic light.
“In recent weeks, mass graves in Sinjar have been discovered, one said to contain the bodies of older Yazidi women murdered by Daesh because they were judged too old to be sold for sex.
“When one of our key allies has been attacked, our freedoms, liberties and beliefs are at risk. When women are raped, children killed, gay people thrown off roofs and Christians decapitated, can we seriously stand by and watch this atrocity happen from afar? We absolutely have to act now.”
He added: “We are here faced by fascists.
“Not just their calculated brutality but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this Chamber tonight and all of the people that we represent.
“They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated.”