British lawmakers have urged government ministers to clarify Britain’s official stance on airstrikes in Syria, amid an apparent discrepancy in rhetoric coming out of the Foreign Office and Downing Street.
A Conservative MP, John Baron, questioned on Friday what he described as “discrepancies” across government on whether airstrikes in Syria are being considered by the UK.
Speaking before the Parliament, Baron argued that American rhetoric on military intervention in Syria is significantly more hawkish than what a lot of British lawmakers would be comfortable with.
Ministers, however, insist that no decisions have so far been adopted on the issue.
The development comes as British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond insisted on Thursday that UK lawmakers had voted in 2013 against airstrikes in Syria, and that this decision remained binding.
Shortly after Hammond’s remarks, however, Downing Street stated that such military intervention had not been ruled out in the future, insisting that Hammond had merely referenced airstrikes against the Syrian government.
Baron expressed “grave doubts” about the prospect of UK’s intervention in Syria, arguing MPs’ rejection of such a geopolitical maneuver last year highlighted the fact that extending military support to either side of the Syrian conflict should require parliamentary approval.
He further warned that recent statements emanating out of Downing Street hinting all options were still under consideration seemed to openly contradict Hammond’s “cautious” tone.
On the eve of the 13th anniversary of September 11, 2001 incidents, US President Barack Obama vowed to lead another purported coalition “to destroy” the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.
Outlining his “strategic plan” to deal with the ISIL, Obama said the Takfiri terrorists would find “no safe haven.”
Obama’s rhetoric comes as ISIL is widely suspected of being supported and financed by Saudi Arabia and some other Persian Gulf kingdoms, which are closely allied with the US and the UK.