PARIS, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain should join coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State during a meeting Monday with French President Francois Hollande.
After the Islamic State coordinated attacks on Paris earlier this month, France increased bombing of IS targets in Syria and Iraq. Cameron said it is his ”firm conviction” Britain should do the same and join bombings.
“The United Kingdom will do all in our power to support our friend and ally France to defeat this evil death cult,” Cameron said Monday. “It is clear that the world is coming together to tackle this evil terrorist threat. We have shown our firm resolve and together we will defeat this evil threat.”
At least 130 people died in Paris after the Nov. 13 attacks claimed by the Islamic State, which also recently launched attacks in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey.
Cameron announced France and Britain would increase counter-terrorism cooperation and called for an improvement in European Union border checks. He also said the French Air Force will be allowed to use Britain’s Royal Air Force base in Cyprus to conduct airstrikes.
The prime minister will work to persuade the British parliament to join in support of bombing the Islamic State in Syria, but the issue is contentious in the country. The British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee released a report urging Britain not join bombing in Syria unless there is a coherent international strategy on defeating IS.
The Scottish National Party will not support airstrikes unless the United Nations gives clear, legal authority. The Labour Party is divided on the issue.
Cameron will present his plans for Britain’s role in the war against the Islamic State on Thursday. Hollande has called for a “grand coalition” to defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, ISIS and Daesh.
“We will intensify our strikes, we will cause the greatest damage possible to this terrorist army,” Hollande said Monday. “Our air forces have been told to strike and strike hard against Daesh.”
The U.N. Security Council supported a draft resolution by France calling for countries to “combat by all means” the “unprecedented threat” of the militant group.
By Andrew V. Pestano