November 17, 2015 / 1:02 PM / 4 years ago

British PM to press for UK air strikes against IS in Syria

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet in London, Britain November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he would present to parliament a “comprehensive strategy” for tackling Islamic State, including launching air strikes against the militants in Syria.

Cameron says he wants to extend Britain’s strikes against Islamic State in Iraq to Syria to fall into line with allies, but fears a repeat of the defeat he suffered in parliament in 2013 on plans to bomb Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, opposes extending the strikes to Syria and has, according to local media, called on his party to follow his lead. Cameron will count on those Labour lawmakers opposed to their far-left leader’s stance, and others to break ranks.

“I will set out our comprehensive strategy for dealing with ISIL (Islamic State), our vision for a more stable and peaceful Middle East. This strategy, in my view should include taking the action in Syria I’ve spoken about,” Cameron told parliament.

“Our allies are asking us to do this, and the case for doing so has only grown stronger after the Paris attacks.”

A spokesman for Cameron said the strategy was expected to be published before the end of November.

The British prime minister also took aim at veteran peace campaigner Corbyn, elected Labour leader in September, suggesting that he would rather put Britain at risk rather than bombing militants in Syria.

Corbyn, who was chosen as leader over better-known rivals on a wave of enthusiasm for change, has come under fire from some Labour lawmakers for telling the BBC he was “not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy” in the event of an attack in Britain.

Cameron told parliament: “In this situation we do not protect the British people by sitting back and wishing that things were different. We have to act to keep our people safe and that is what this government will always do.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and William James,; Editing by Stephen Addison

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