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British PM to set out case for bombing Syria

David Cameron tells MPs he will make case for action in Syria, saying IS is not a remote threat that can be ignored
David Cameron said he would make the case to MPs for action in Syria (AFP)

David Cameron has said he will address MPs on Thursday to make his case for Britain to join air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria before a vote on the issue expected at a later date.

In a speech to parliament on Monday, the British Prime Minister said: "As the murders on the streets of Paris reminded us so starkly, Isil (IS) is not some remote threat."

"On Thursday, I will come to this house to make a further statement." 

Britain has bombed IS in Iraq but has not engaged the group in Syria due to a Commons vote in 2013, which rejected air strikes in answer to a Syrian army gas attack on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.

Cameron's ruling Conservative party says it will not launch military action in Syria until there is another Commons vote on the matter.

The British PM earlier said that he would allow France the use of the British RAF airbase in Cyprus to support the campaign against IS. France will not launch air strikes from the base, however.

In September, Cameron said an RAF drone attack in Raqqa, which killed Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, two British member of IS, was a matter of national defence and separate to any general campaign.

Cameron also announced details of a plan in case of major terror attacks like the ones in Paris on 13 November in which 130 people were killed.

"I can tell the House today that we have put in place a significant new contingency plan to deal with major terrorist attacks," he said.

"Under this new operation, up to 10,000 military personnel will be available to support the police in dealing with the type of shocking terrorist attack we have seen in Paris," he said.

In his speech to parliament, Cameron pledged an extra $18.2bn for the military. "This is vital at a time when the threats to our country are growing," he said.

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