Archive for year: 2015

David Mackintosh

Why we must act in Syria

Ahead of the vote on extending military action in Syria, David Mackintosh, MP for Northampton South, outlined his views on why he will support the motion.

He said: “The terrible events in Paris earlier this year in Tunisia and Sharm el-Sheikh have demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face from Daesh. As the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary have said, there must be a full spectrum response to deal with Daesh at its source in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Upon request for assistance from the Iraqi Government, British aircraft are delivering the second highest number of airstrikes over Iraq. Our surveillance aircraft are already assisting other countries with their operations over Syria and British forces are helping to train the moderate Syrian opposition.

“The RAF airstrikes against Daesh targets in support of Iraqi forces on the ground is already helping to push Daesh out of parts of Iraq, and are supplying machine guns, body armour and other equipment as well as providing training to counter Improvised Explosive Devices. The UK is also a leading contributor to the humanitarian relief effort in Iraq: in total we are providing £59.5 million of humanitarian aid to help those in Iraq who have been forced to flee from Daesh.

“But Daesh poses a very direct threat to the United Kingdom – and as we have already seen in Iraq, British airstrikes can play a key role in degrading them.

“With the headquarters of the terrorists actually in Syria, it makes no sense to recognise this border when Daesh themselves don’t. That’s why, following a very deliberate and proper process – involving a Cabinet meeting, legal advice, a proper motion in front of the House of Commons, and ten and a half hours of debate – we will vote on extending airstrikes across the border. But that is only part of a broader strategy for Syria, which includes finding a political solution to the turmoil; a continuation of our extensive humanitarian efforts; and a clear commitment to post-conflict reconstruction.

“Yesterday I attended a security briefing with the Defence, Foreign, International Development and Home Secretaries to find out the security situation we face and I have now decided to support the Prime Minister’s position in Parliament and to extend the air strikes to Syria.

“It’s in the national interest to answer the call from our allies, and to work with them to fight this appalling terrorist organisation. Daesh is a threat to our country and this is the right thing to do to help to keep Britain safe.”