UK Votes to Strike Syria, Strikes Syria

Parliament approves ISIS strikes after long, emotional debate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 3, 2015 12:34 AM CST
UK Votes to Strike Syria, Strikes Syria
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament as a debate continues before a vote on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

British lawmakers voted by a wide margin Wednesday to join the international campaign of airstrikes against ISIS in Syria after Prime Minister David Cameron asserted that bombing the "medieval monsters" in their heartland would make Britain safer. Anti-war protesters outside Parliament booed as they learned the result of the vote. The decision came after an emotional 10 1/2-hour debate in which Cameron said that Britain must strike the militants in their heartland and not "sit back and wait for them to attack us."

Opponents argued that Britain's entry into Syria's crowded airspace would make little difference, saying Cameron's military plan was based on wishful thinking that overlooked the messy reality of the Syrian civil war. Just hours after the vote, British warplanes carried out their first airstrikes in Syria. Four Royal Air Force Tornados took off from a British air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, shortly after the vote. A Ministry of Defense spokesman told the AP the planes had conducted strikes in Syria and that details about their targets would be provided later Thursday. (More United Kingdom stories.)

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