UK approves expanded airstrike campaign against Islamic State

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    The campaign against Islamic State forces advanced on several fronts today. Britain's House of Commons approved an expanded airstrike campaign in Syria, and the fight for a key provincial capital in Iraq heated up.

    Street battles raged today in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, as government troops backed by U.S. airstrikes moved closer to end a drawn-out siege. But many Iraqis, led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, didn't appear to welcome the news that U.S. is sending additional special ops forces in an effort to root out ISIS strongholds.

    SALAH AL-RIKABI, Baghdad resident (through interpreter): We do not need any foreign forces, whether they are American, Danish, Italian or French ones. The Iraqi people are capable.

    FADHIL ABU FIRAS, Baghdad resident (through interpreter): U.S. forces have no credibility and no good intentions. I consider this a new invasion.


    At NATO headquarters in Brussels, Secretary of State John Kerry denied that Iraqi leaders were not briefed about the new force in advance.

    JOHN KERRY, U.S. Secretary of State: We will continue to work very, very closely with our Iraqi partners on exactly who would be deployed, where they would be deployed, what kinds of missions people would undertake, how they would support Iraqi efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL.


    In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron made his final appeal in Parliament to expand the current British air campaign in Iraq to Syria.

  • DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, Britain:

    The question is this. Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?


    But Cameron faced riled-up opponents to his plan after reports that he called them a bunch of terrorist sympathizers.

  • MAN:

    An amendment was signed by 110 members of this house from six different political parties. I have examined that list very carefully. I cannot identify a single terrorist sympathizer among them. Will he now apologize for this deeply insulting remark?


    I have made very clear this is about how we fight terrorism, and there is honor in any vote that honorable members make.


    In the end, the House of Commons backed the Conservative government plan to begin airstrikes inside Syria.

    Separately, Russia released satellite imagery purporting to show trucks delivering Islamic State oil in Turkey and accused Turkish leaders of profiting from the illicit trade. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the claims as slander.

    Later in the day, an Islamic State video appeared to show the beheading of another hostage. The militants said he had spied for Russia in Syria and Iraq.

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