MPs back air strikes on ‘brutal Islamic State’

Photo released by the U.S. Air Force: A formation of US Navy F-18E Super Hornets leaves after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq.
Photo released by the U.S. Air Force: A formation of US Navy F-18E Super Hornets leaves after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq.

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright was among the region’s MPs who gave their backing to the UK joining US-led air strikes on militants in Iraq.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron said Islamic State (IS) pose a “clear and proven” threat to British lives as he made the case for the UK to join US-led air strikes on militants in Iraq.

Screengrab taken from YouTube of a video showing Islamist fighters, who claim to be British, appearing in a recruitment video for the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis)

Screengrab taken from YouTube of a video showing Islamist fighters, who claim to be British, appearing in a recruitment video for the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis)

He told Parliament IS is a “brutal”, well-funded “terrorist organisation” that had de-stabilised two countries before Parliament voted overwhelmingly - by 524 votes to 43 - in favour of the decision to join the US-led bombing raids against the jihadist forces in Iraq.

IS has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months. The group, also known as Isis or Isil, has used tactics that have included beheadings of soldiers, Western journalists and aid workers.

Mr Wright said he’d had correspondence from residents divided on the issue but after listening to the debate, he voted to support the action.

He told the Mail: “This is because its wording is relatively tightly defined and it explicitly rules out the use of British ground troops, which I believe would be counterproductive, as well as the use of air strikes in Syria.

Internet search engine giant Google held a session aimed at town entrepreneurs. Gori Yahaya, the head of the Google Juice Bar, with Hartlepool MP Iain Wright at the session.

Internet search engine giant Google held a session aimed at town entrepreneurs. Gori Yahaya, the head of the Google Juice Bar, with Hartlepool MP Iain Wright at the session.

“It is targeted specifically against Isil. Let us not forget that Isil has beheaded a British citizen, one who was trying to help the humanitarian situation in the area as an aid worker, has put other citizens of our country at risk and is actively seeking to recruit British jihadists.

“In addition, Isil is responsible for appalling crimes against humanity, including murdering men and boys and raping and torturing women and girls in northern Iraq.”

He added that the call for British military action is in direct response to a request from the democratically-elected Government of Iraq for support, which made it legal under international law.

Also that military action should not be the sole action taken, but also diplomatic, humanitarian and financial measures designed to prevent extremism.

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, voted to support action but added the decision to send Armed Forces into combat is “never an easy one”.

He added: “The threat posed by Islamic State (IS) is one that cannot be ignored.

“We should be in no doubt that their ruthless actions and expansionist ideology represents a real threat, not just to the region but to global security.”

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, who voted in favour, said: “IS is a barbaric terrorist organisation and needs to be eradicated.”

Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, was unavailable for comment.

Britain has six RAF Tornado GR4 fighter bombers stationed within striking range of northern Iraq in Cyprus.