At five o’clock on Friday 26 September, the UK voted in favour of joining the US, France and some Middle Eastern powers in their airstrikes against IS in Iraq. This vote signals Britain’s involvement in another war in the Middle East and Iraq, the first since 2011 when the UK launched air strikes against Muammar Gadhafi and Libya. For the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, this decision fulfils Britain’s duty to protect both the West and the whole worlds against the terrorist.
The emergency six and a half hour Commons debate, resulted in MPs voting overwhelmingly to support bombing in Iraq. This vote comes after the Iraqi government called for intervention and after the US and France and some Middle Eastern countries have launched their airstrikes against ISIS. British air strikes against Isis targets in Iraq will begin within days. However, ministers have admitted that UK intervention could be long and maybe last two or three years.
“Is there a threat to the British people? The answer is ‘yes,'” underlined Mr. Cameron during the debate. Islamic State has already killed one British hostage; is threatening to kill two more; has inspired terrorist acts in Europe, such as the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels; and security services have disrupted six other known plots in Europe and a terrorist attack in Australia’’
Left unchecked, we will face a terrorist caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean, bordering a NATO member, with a declared and proven determination to attack our country and our people”.
David Cameron in previous weeks had talked about its intentions in joining the airstrikes to fight and target the fanatics of the co-called Islamic State in Iraq, but not Syria. During the debate among others; the Plymouth, Harrogate, Knaresborough MP, the Amnesty International, Archbishop Justin Welby gave their support to the airstrikes. According to the Archbishop ‘In the here and now, there is justification for the use of armed force on humanitarian grounds, to enable oppressed victims to find safe space.”
IS, previously self-proclaimed as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is an unrecognised state and a Sunni jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East. According to IS they are a caliphate which claims religious authority over all Muslim across the world and aims to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions under its political control beginning with territory in the Levant that includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of the southern Turkey.
American boxer Mike Tyson once said that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’’ and hopefully this time Cameron and the UK would have a plan, if not a clear and well calculated one, as to what should be done in order to avoid another Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011.
What evidence suggests and is important to stress is that there is little sign that UK air strikes in Iraq, will be able to turn the tide against Isis. More than 190 US air strikes have taken place in Iraq since 8 August by the US, and yet there are still militants advancing six weeks after the first bombs and missiles exploded. Just last week, in a little battle at Saqlawiya, 40 miles west of Baghdad, ISIS fighters besieged and overran an Iraqi army base and then ambushed the retreating soldiers. In addition, some specialists underline the possibility of a more significant level of intervention that might include boots on ground, despite the fact that at the moment governments involved have ruled out.