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Emily Thornberry began this Talk Radio interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer by saying we should talk to the Argies about the Falklands, and it did not get much better from there. Asked if she wanted to respond to the views of Falklands veteran Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, the Shadow Defence Secretary replied: “No, not really”. McBride still has work to do…
Following the vote in the House of Commons last night, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft flew their first offensive operation against Daesh terrorist targets inside Syria.
The mainstay of Daesh’s financial income is derived from exploitation of a number of oilfields that they hold. These are overwhelmingly located in Daesh’s heartlands in eastern Syria. Several of these oilfields have already been effectively targeted by other coalition partners; RAF aircraft and precision weaponry are well suited to attacking, with low collateral risk, this type of target.
Overnight, RAF Tornado GR4s, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker and a Reaper, and operating in conjunction with other coalition aircraft, employed Paveway IV guided bombs to conduct strikes against six targets within the extensive oilfield at Omar, 35 miles inside Syria’s eastern border with Iraq. The Omar oilfield is one of the largest and most important to Daesh’s financial operations, and represents over 10% of their potential income from oil. Carefully selected elements of the oilfield infrastructure were targeted, ensuring the strikes will have a significant impact on Daesh’s ability to extract the oil to fund their terrorism.
Coalition air operations have already degraded Daesh’s front-line military capabilities and have assisted the Iraqi ground forces in liberating some 30% of the territory that the terrorists initially seized in that country during the summer of 2014. By extending RAF offensive operations into Syria, our aircraft are now able to help dismantle the means by which Daesh plan, direct and sustain their campaign of terror.
Before our aircrew conducted their attacks, as is normal they used the aircraft’s advanced sensors to confirm that no civilians were in the proximity of the targets, who might be placed at risk. Our initial analysis of the operation indicates that the strikes were successful.
Labour MPs who have yet to make up their minds on tonight’s vote have been inundated with graphic images of dead Syrian children sent by anti-war protesters. The bloody photos are too distressing to publish in full, and include images of babies and toddlers killed in Syria in an attempt to convince MPs to vote against war. This was sent to Labour MP Melanie Onn:
This was sent to Stella Creasy:
The intimidation against pro-intervention Labour MPs continues…
The Commons is currently debating whether or not the Labour leadership are “terrorist sympathisers”. Doesn’t this just remind everyone that Corbyn and McDonnell actually are terrorist sympathisers?
They might get round to discussing the war some time this evening…
The police formed a line to protect Labour HQ from Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Burgon’s Stop the War protesters this evening.
Unfortunately, most of them seemed completely oblivious to which building is One Brewer’s Green…
ISIL IN SYRIA (UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
The Prime Minister
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
Secretary Theresa May
Secretary Philip Hammond
Secretary Michael Fallon
Secretary Justine Greening
That this House notes that ISIL poses a direct threat to the United Kingdom; welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2249 which determines that ISIL constitutes an ‘unprecedented threat to international peace and security’ and calls on states to take ‘all necessary measures’ to prevent terrorist acts by ISIL and to ‘eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria’; further notes the clear legal basis to defend the UK and our allies in accordance with the UN Charter; notes that military action against ISIL is only one component of a broader strategy to bring peace and stability to Syria; welcomes the renewed impetus behind the Vienna talks on a ceasefire and political settlement; welcomes the Government’s continuing commitment to providing humanitarian support to Syrian refugees; underlines the importance of planning for post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction in Syria; welcomes the Government’s continued determination to cut ISIL’s sources of finance, fighters and weapons; notes the requests from France, the US and regional allies for UK military assistance; acknowledges the importance of seeking to avoid civilian casualties, using the UK’s particular capabilities; notes the Government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations; welcomes the Government’s commitment to provide quarterly progress reports to the House; and accordingly supports Her Majesty’s Government In taking military action, specifically airstrikes, exclusively against ISIL in Syria; and offers its wholehearted support to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
How would you vote? Have your say here…
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Jeremy Corbyn blasted what he claims is a “small number” of “diehards” in his party who would back bombing ISIS in Syria “whether there was a whip or not”:
“I think that there will be a large majority of Labour MPs voting against the war. There a small number who are very diehard in supporting the war. They would have probably supported the war whether there was a whip or not.”
A “small number” of “diehards” including Hilary Benn, Tom Watson, Andy Burnham, Michael Dugher, Vernon Coaker, Chris Bryant, Angela Eagle. In other words two thirds of his Shadow Cabinet and dozens of backbenchers. We will see how “small” that number is tomorrow night…
Uh oh… Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to give his MPs a free vote on Syria has gone down like a cup of cold sick with his old mates at Stop the War. The Kremlin-apologising faux-pacifists, of which Corbyn is the former chair, are organising a march on Labour’s headquarters at Brewers Green tonight at 6pm.[…]
Congratulations to loony lefty Labour MP Paul Flynn for submitting the least helpful intervention in the Syria debate. Flynn reckons attacking ISIS will “escalate a regional war into a world war between Christians and Muslims”. Guido awards him the Order of the OTT…[…]
Three weeks ago Crispin Blunt, the chair of the Foreign Affairs select committee whose voice is crucial for Cameron in winning over MPs on Syria, opposed war:
“We are concerned that the Government is focusing on extending airstrikes to Syria, responding to the powerful sense that something must be done to tackle ISIL in Syria, without any expectation that its action will be militarily decisive, and without a coherent and long-term plan for defeating ISIL and ending the civil war… [as things stand] the Government should not try to obtain Parliamentary approval to extend British military action to Syria.”
Today Blunt backed bombing:
“On balance the country would be best served by this House supporting [the PM’s] judgement.
This is the purported video of the Russian Su-24 being downed over the Turkey-Syria border. Turkey say they shot it down, Russia insist their airspace was not violated. Both pilots ejected.
And in high resolution:
The last time a Russian plane was shot down by a Nato member appears to be 1953…[…]
The PM announced £178 billion of investment in new defence equipment before dropping one or two bombs on Corbyn. These are the Labour leader’s views on defence, reported by the Sun:
“Why do have to be able to have planes, transport aircraft, aircraft carriers and everything else to get anywhere in the world?
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor has demanded the police “arrest” and “prosecute” Tony Blair. Speaking in 2013 to ‘Chunky Mark’, the mental Marxist taxi driver who uploads x-rated interviews with left-wing figures onto YouTube, John McDonnell said:
“I have been supporting a campaign where we’ve been seeking to arrest Tony Blair every time that he comes to this country.
Jeremy Corbyn got his own back on Tony Blair last night in the only sensible way, by calling for him to be tried for war crimes:
“If he’s committed a war crime, yes. I think it was an illegal war, I’m confident about that… and therefore he has to explain to that.
The stretched twig of peace is once again at melting point.
Tension is high as Argentina’s state prosecutor orders an embargo of UK assets involved in Falklands hydrocarbons operations, demanding the seizure of more than $156m of international equipment, including ships, drilling platforms and bank accounts.[…]