FOLLOWING the release of a video showing the killing of hostage David Haines by Islamic State militants, PM Cameron yesterday announced ‘five points’, for dealing with the situation.
Cameron said: ‘First, we will work with the Iraqi government to ensure it represents all of its people and is able to tackle this threat effectively.
‘We will support the Kurdish regional government who are holding the front line against ISIL. We will help them protect their own people and the minorities, including Christians that they have helped already, through our supplies of ammunition and of training.
‘Second, we will work at the United Nations to mobilise the broadest possible support to bear down on ISIL.
‘Third, the United States is taking direct military action. We support that. British Tornadoes and surveillance aircraft have been helping with intelligence gathering and logistics.
‘This is not about British combat troops on the ground. It is about working with others to extinguish this terrorist threat.
‘As this strategy intensifies, we are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with this threat and keep our country safe.
‘Fourth, we will continue to support the enormous humanitarian efforts, including using the RAF to do so, to help the literally millions of people who have fled ISIL and are now living in appalling conditions.
‘And fifth, and perhaps most important, we will maintain and continue to reinforce our formidable counter-terrorist effort here at home, to prevent attacks and to hunt down those who are planning any.’
MPs had urged ministers to clarify their stance on air strikes in Syria amid differences between the Foreign Office and No 10.
Tory MP John Baron said there were apparent ‘discrepancies’ across government over whether such action was being be contemplated.
US rhetoric on intervention in Syria, he said, was more hawkish than the UK was ‘comfortable with’.
Ministers have insisted no decisions have been taken.
US President Obama has pledged to ‘degrade’ and ‘destroy’ IS in Syria – including with a systematic campaign of airstrikes.
Speaking last Thursday, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said MPs had voted last year against airstrikes there and that decision would not be revisited.
But Downing Street said shortly afterwards that action had not been ruled out.