As British politicians continue to wrestle over the issue of the RAF joining in air strikes against ISIS in Syria the French government has again expressed its hope that the UK will soon be working alongside their French counterparts in taking the fight to the heart of ISIS.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian wrote in the Guardian newspaper that UK military capabilities would “put additional and extreme pressure on the ISIS terror network”.
He then went on to explain that ISIS had struck at the very heart of France in it’s November 13th attack on Paris. He also recognised that Britain has firm military capabilities that could be utilised to combat ISIS and that Britain was already using these capabilities in neighbouring Iraq.
The RAF has significant capabilities for precision airstrikes, aerial reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling support. On a daily basis, its Tornado aircraft and unmanned drones are causing very severe damage to ISIS in Iraq. The use of these capabilities over Syria would put additional and extreme pressure on the ISIS terror network.
However, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party this week reaffirmed their opposition to strikes. The Scottish National Party also continues to oppose strikes and with their combined no-votes the ruling Conservative Party may not be able to garner enough votes to carry out strikes as Prime Minister David Cameron would like. For the Prime Minister the French Defence Minister’s words are especially embarrassing since the RAF once again had to turn to France to help locate a Russian submarine operating off Scottish waters earlier this month because of the lack of British maritime patrol aircraft following his previous coalition government’s decision to scrap Nimrod.