SNP may be only party to oppose Syrian air strikes

Labour have expressed qualified support for plans to extend airstrikes against Islamic State to Syria. Picture: PA
Labour have expressed qualified support for plans to extend airstrikes against Islamic State to Syria. Picture: PA
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THE SNP looks set to be the only party to oppose expanding bombing raids on Islamic State (IS) into Syria, after Labour made clear it was prepared to back the proposal from Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

In a debate on security, Mr Fallon confirmed the government would ask MPs for approval before conducting air strikes there.

Shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker said Labour could support military action in Syria if it would make a clear difference to defeating IS, if it was legal and if its objectives were clear.

He said: “We are all horrified by what’s happened in Tunisia and by the growing threat that [IS] poses.”

But SNP foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond told the Commons: “The reason for scepticism is the experience we have – an experience I share with a number of honourable members over these last 12 years – of the success of military interventions in a range of Islamic countries.

“In each stage of military intervention, we were assured and told and it was argued this next intervention was the absolute key or at least would progress the objectives of this country.

“I think on, it has to be said, every occasion, exactly the reverse has come about.”