Salmond warns against ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to IS

Alex Salmond said that air strikes are not the solution. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Alex Salmond said that air strikes are not the solution. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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TACKLING the threat of Islamic State (IS) requires a coherent response and not the “knee-jerk” extension of air strikes into Syrian territory, Alex Salmond said yesterday.

The SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman said diplomatic efforts need to be better co-ordinated and the West should look at the areas of propaganda and the group’s financing.

Last week in the Commons, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon began laying out the case for extending RAF air strikes into Syria. However, yesterday Mr Salmond said military intervention can be justified in some circumstances but it is “extraordinarily difficult to work out who you should be bombing” in Syria.

He said: “You shouldn’t just engage in aerial conflict and believe that’s a solution because clearly the evidence shows that it’s not. We need a coherent response … not just a knee-jerk addition to an air campaign that’s being conducted already.”

Asked if he would support the deployment of UK and US special forces, he replied: “The circumstances would have to be a lot more substantially-based than what we heard in the House of Commons this week.”

He said the most effective fighting force against IS on the ground at the moment are Kurdish forces.