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UK divided over government vote for Syria air strikes

Thursday, December 03, 2015 - 01:28

The British public appear divided in the wake of a House of Commons vote in favor of air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. Pavithra George reports.

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In London, news of the air strikes greeted morning commuters - many of whom had mixed views on their parliament's vote to join the U.S. led-air campaign against Islamic State in Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIVIL SERVANT, SALLY TAYLOR, SAYING: "Yeah I think we should chip in generally because other countries are and I think we should play our part as well." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIVIL SERVANT, LIZELLE JOHNSON, SAYING: "I think there is going to be a lot of innocent people that are actually over in Syria that aren't going to be at fault in this and they are going to die because of us. Effectively this is our decision and we are killing them. That's how I see it." British bombers made their first strikes early Thursday morning, hitting oil fields that British Prime Minister David Cameron said were being used to fund attacks on the West. He warns the road ahead will be "complex" and difficult". (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We are going to need to be patient and persistent, it is going to take time, it is complex, it is difficult what we are asking our pilots to do and our thoughts should be with them and their families as we commence this important work." But in Aleppo, Syrian rebels and activists alike wondered why Britain wasn't taking action -- instead -- against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN ACTIVIST, AHMAD HUSAIN SAYING: "I am lost for words and don't know what to say on this. Britain must first of all strike Assad because he has committed so many atrocities. For five years he has been tormenting the Syrian people." But will air strikes alone be enough? U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Thursday they won't actually defeat Islamic State and called on Syrian and other Arab GROUND forces to take on the militant group.

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UK divided over government vote for Syria air strikes

Thursday, December 03, 2015 - 01:28