Unionist MPs Speak out in Support of Military Air Strikes

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), December 3, 2015 | Go to article overview

Unionist MPs Speak out in Support of Military Air Strikes


Unionist MPs speaking in the House of Commons last night expressed clear support for airstrikes against IS in Syria.

DUP MP Ian Paisley said his party drew on its experience of terrorism in Northern Ireland in supporting the military action.

"The Prime Minister will know how members of my party feel when it comes to fighting and dealing with terrorism, and for that there will always be support, no matter where terrorism raises its head," he said.

He sought assurances from David Cameron that if it became necessary to deploy UK troops in ground combat operations that he would seek approval for the action from MPs.

The Prime Minister replied that he did not want such a course of action, which he thought would be "a mistake".

DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the test for his party was one of realism.

"Our experience in Northern Ireland has taught us that no other approach can be brought to bear when facing terrorism. Terrorism must be fought, and fought with all means realistically at our disposal.

"We have not sought this conflict; terrorists have inflicted it on us, and we must now respond. We know only too well the consequences of terrorism being appeased and indulged.

"Terrorism must be faced up to. This is not a choice between political initiatives and fighting terrorism, because both go hand in hand. That is why it is important that the motion is about action now."

His party required a number of tests to be met before they would support the airstrikes, he said -- that IS would be the target; that they represent "a clear and present danger" to the UK; and that British action would make "a real and practical difference".

It should not be forgotten, he added, that the UK is the second highest donor of aid to those fleeing conflict in Syria. …

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