The British parliament is set to debate and vote on a motion authorising the use of military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria. The move comes amid divisions over the planned intervention within Prime Minister David Cameron’s own Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party.
Several Conservative MPs are expected to vote on Wednesday against the proposal and the government will probably rely on Labour MPs breaking ranks with their leader Jeremy Corbyn to approve the move. The government in its motion says the legal basis for the proposed intervention is in line with UN Resolution 2249, which calls on member states to “eradicate” ISIL’s safe havens in Iraq and Syria.
“[The government] acknowledges the importance of seeking to avoid civilian casualties, using the UK’s particular capabilities; notes the government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations,” the motion reads. The plan to strike ISIL in Syria is backed by a majority of the British people, according to two recent polls, but has prompted anti-war demonstrations.
Thousands turned out onto the streets of London and other cities across the UK on Saturday to voice their opposition to the air strikes and hundreds protested outside parliament on Tuesday, the day Cameron announced the debate.