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British Parliament Approves Airstrikes Against IS in Syria


Protesters hold placards protesting a call for Britain to launch airstrikes on the Islamic State group inside Syria, during a demonstration outside Parliament ahead of a vote in London, Dec. 2, 2015.

Protesters hold placards protesting a call for Britain to launch airstrikes on the Islamic State group inside Syria, during a demonstration outside Parliament ahead of a vote in London, Dec. 2, 2015.

British lawmakers on Wednesday approved a request from Prime Minister David Cameron to take part in airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria. The vote was 397-223.

Cameron appeared in Parliament to make his case, saying the airstrikes would be “part of a wider strategy” to overcome the militant movement.

Britain has been bombing in Iraq for more than a year, and Cameron urged lawmakers to back extending airstrikes to Syria to target militants he said were plotting attacks on the West.

British Prime Minister David Cameron talks to lawmakers inside the House of Commons in London during a debate on launching airstrikes against Islamic State extremists inside Syria, Dec. 2, 2015.

British Prime Minister David Cameron talks to lawmakers inside the House of Commons in London during a debate on launching airstrikes against Islamic State extremists inside Syria, Dec. 2, 2015.

After 10 hours of often heated debate, the request was approved.

The head of the opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, opposed the move. Corbyn said Cameron "failed to convince almost anyone” that ground forces would be able to take back Islamic State-held territory if the British airstrikes did manage to help the coalition gain the advantage over the militants.

A poll conducted by online research firm YouGov showed that British citizens’ support for military action in Syria had fallen to the lowest level since September 2014, with 48 percent of respondents supporting strikes Tuesday, compared with 59 percent last week.

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