We’ll help the US destroy Isil, says Cameron
Published 20/07/2015 | 02:30
David Cameron pledged to help America “destroy” Isil extremists in Syria as he gave his clearest signal yet that UK forces could be asked to join air strikes.
The British Prime Minister said he wanted Britain to “step up and do more” if he could secure the approval of parliament.
The promise came as he prepared to issue a stark warning to home-grown, would-be jihadists that Isil wanted them as “cannon fodder”.
He will use a speech today to set out what aides said would be “significant” elements of the government’s strategy to combat the threat from fundamentalist terrorism for the next five years.
The decision to invite Labour’s interim leader Harriet Harman to a National Security Council briefing on the threat last week was seen as a further step to prepare the ground for a possible parliamentary vote to extend air strikes in the autumn.
But ministers will also be forced to explain why RAF pilots were allowed to take part in bombing raids over Syria despite MPs having voted against Britain carrying out strikes in the country.
Downing Street has confirmed that Mr Cameron was aware of the missions flown by a small number of aircrew embedded with US and Canadian forces despite parliament authorising attacks only on Isil targets in neighbouring Iraq.
Asked in a US TV interview if he planned to join the US-led air raids within Syria, he said: “Look, we know that we have to defeat Isil, we have to destroy this caliphate, whether it is in Iraq or in Syria.
“That is a key part of defeating this terrorist scourge that we face.
“I want Britain to do more. I’ll always have to take my parliament with me. We’re talking and discussing at the moment, including with the opposition.”