YEP Says, September 8: Dilemma facing PM over air strikes in Syria

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David Cameron’s statement on Britain’s response to the refugee crisis was overshadowed by the revelation that two Islamic State fighters from Britain were killed by an RAF drone strike in Syria after the intelligence services obtained chilling information about an imminent terrorist atrocity in this country, and had to act in both the national interest and self-defence. His sombre statement demonstrated that the most onerous duty facing any Prime Minister is “to keep the British people safe” and it is clear that this decision was not taken lightly. Not only did the Government go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the operation’s legality, but no civilians were killed in the attack. Inevitably many will regard the Government’s actions as the precursor to British forces taking part in further military action in Syria, although it will not be possible for this to happen without a Parliamentary mandate and it is still doubtful whether Mr Cameron will be able to persuade sufficient MPs to back such a strategy. Yet here is the dilemma facing Mr Cameron. If the Government authorises military action, it could lead to even more young Muslims from these shores being radicalised and joining the struggle in Syria. If the Prime Minister does not act, he could jeoparise Britain’s national security if an another atrocity is committed. The words ‘rock’ and ‘hard place’ spring to mind.

His sombre statement demonstrated that the most onerous duty facing any Prime Minister is “to keep the British people safe” and it is clear that this decision was not taken lightly. Not only did the Government go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the operation’s legality, but no civilians were killed in the attack. Inevitably many will regard the Government’s actions as the precursor to British forces taking part in further military action in Syria, although it will not be possible for this to happen without a Parliamentary mandate and it is still doubtful whether Mr Cameron will be able to persuade sufficient MPs to back such a strategy. Yet here is the dilemma facing Mr Cameron. If the Government authorises military action, it could lead to even more young Muslims from these shores being radicalised and joining the struggle in Syria. If the Prime Minister does not act, he could jeoparise Britain’s national security if an another atrocity is committed. His position is that invidious.

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