Britain yet to garner parliament support for Syria action – Defence Minister Michael Fallon

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:44 GMT, Nov 30, 2015 |

Britain’s government has yet to drum up the support it needs to win parliamentary approval for launching air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, defence minister Michael Fallon said on Sunday (November 29).

Prime Minister David Cameron has said it is time to join the air strikes against Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for killing 130 people in Paris earlier this month.

But several of his own Conservative Party and some lawmakers in the opposition Labour Party are wary of entering into another war in the Middle East after Western intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region.

Fallon said the government was holding talks with Labour lawmakers and, while it would like a vote to take place this week, it was still building the case for extending air strikes beyond Iraq, where it already supports U.S.-led attacks.

Asked whether the government had got the votes needed to get parliamentary approval for the air strikes, Fallon said: “Not yet, we are working at it and we need to keep working at it because there are lots of questions about this. You shouldn’t extend military operations lightly. There are legitimate questions to answer and we are doing our best to answer them.”

Media reported the vote could be held on Wednesday, but Cameron says he will not ask parliament until he can count on its approval, to avoid a repeat of the damaging defeat in 2013 over strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.