Britain, Belgium and Denmark on Friday joined the US-led coalition of nations that are launching airstrikes on Islamic State group militants in Iraq, committing warplanes to the struggle against the extremists.
The European lawmakers flatly described the move as critical to security on home soil, arguing that facing down terrorists has become a matter of urgency. British Prime Minister David Cameron made a passionate plea that spelled out the consequences of inaction in drastic terms — noting that the militants had beheaded their victims, gouged out eyes and carried out crucifixions to promote goals “from the Dark Ages.”
“This is about psychopathic terrorists that are trying to kill us and we do have to realize that, whether we like it or not, they have already declared war on us,” he said. “There isn’t a ‘walk on by’ option. There isn’t an option of just hoping this will go away.”
British lawmakers voted 524-43 for action. Belgium also overwhelmingly approved the matter, voting 114-2 to take part, despite widespread concerns that more terrorism may follow in their homeland as a result.
Britain is expected to deploy Tornado fighters, a handful of which are in Cyprus — striking distance of northern Iraq.
The British resolution does not address any action in Syria, though many lawmakers tried to push the government to admit that taking on militants there would be the likely next step. Cameron has justified action in Iraq as lawful, because the Iraqi leadership has asked for help — but his detractors say action in Syria would be illegal because President Bashar Assad has not invited outsiders in to assist. No European nation has yet agreed to strike in Syria.
Extracted and modified from Yahoo News