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Britain's Cameron says time to bomb militants in Syria

Updated: 2015-11-27 11:16

Britain's Cameron says time to bomb militants in Syria

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a joint news conference with Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann (not pictured) after a meeting in the chancellery in Vienna, Austria, November 26, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday it was time to join air strikes against Islamic State in Syria because Britain cannot "subcontract its security to other countries".

Many Britons are wary of entering into another war in the Middle East after Western intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region and some believe led to the rise of militants groups such as Islamic State.

But after Islamic State claimed responsibility for killing 130 people in Paris, some members of parliament who were reluctant to launch further military action in the Middle East now feel it is needed to protect Britain from such attacks.

Cameron lost a vote on air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in 2013 and must persuade some wary members of his own Conservative Party and in the opposition Labour Party to back him if he is to win parliament's support for military action.

After setting out his case, Cameron appeared to have persuaded at least two of 30 party "rebels" who voted against him in 2013, and his foreign minister, Philip Hammond, later said the government was now "building a consensus now for military action".

"We do not have the luxury of being able to wait until the Syrian conflict is resolved before tackling ISIL (Islamic State)," Cameron wrote in a response to parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, which had said a policy to extend air strikes was "incoherent" without a strategy to defeat the militants.

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