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Britain bombs Syria: Tornado jets target Syrian oil field 57 minutes after Commons votes for airstrikes

Published 03/12/2015

Groundcrew work on a Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham as it prepares for a practice mission, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria. PA
Groundcrew work on a Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham as it prepares for a practice mission, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria. PA
A crowded House of Commons after MPs backed David Cameron's plans 397 to 223, majority 174, for extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria in an historic Commons vote. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
(FILES) -- A file photo taken on September 27, 2014, shows British Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 fighter jets preparing to take off from the Akrotiri British RAF airbase near the Cypriot port city of Limassol. Britain's parliament voted on December 2, 2015, in favour of joining international air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria. The move proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron's government was approved by a majority of 174 MPs, with 397 voting in favour and 223 voting against. AFP PHOTO / STR-/AFP/Getty Images
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliaments Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows British Prime Minister David Cameron listening as British opposition Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn addresses the House of Commons ahead of the vote on Syria in London on December 2, 2015. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria, despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off over 10 hours of debate by urging MPs to "answer the call" from allies like France and the US, adding that bombing the "mediaeval monsters" of IS was "the right thing to do". AFP PHOTO / PRU RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / PRU " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - NO RESALE - NO DISTRIBUTION TO THIRD PARTIES - 24 HOURS USE - NO ARCHIVES HO/AFP/Getty Images
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliaments Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (L) listening as British opposition Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn addresses the House of Commons ahead of the vote on Syria in London on December 2, 2015. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria, despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off over 10 hours of debate by urging MPs to "answer the call" from allies like France and the US, adding that bombing the "mediaeval monsters" of IS was "the right thing to do". AFP PHOTO / PRU RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / PRU " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - NO RESALE - NO DISTRIBUTION TO THIRD PARTIES - 24 HOURS USE - NO ARCHIVES HO/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-war demonstrators wave pre-Baath Syrian flags, now used by the opposition, during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on December 2, 2015, against the British government's proposed involvement in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. AFP PHOTO / CHRIS RATCLIFFECHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
An anti-war demonstrator shows her red-coloured hands during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on December 2, 2015, against the British government's proposed involvement in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. AFP PHOTO / CHRIS RATCLIFFECHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Protesters participate in a "Die In" protest in Parliament Square on December 2, 2015 in London, England. ritish MPs are expected to vote tonight on whether to back UK airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria following a 10-hour long debate. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
The results of the vote on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria are passed over in the House of Commons, as MPs backed David Cameron's plans 397 to 223, majority 174, in an historic Commons vote. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
A practice "paveway" laser guided bomb in a hangar with a Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria to bomb IS after MP's voted on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire
An aircrew with their Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham as they prepare for a practice mission, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria to bomb IS after MP's voted on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire
The vote is read out on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria are passed over in the House of Commons as MPs backed David Cameron's plans 397 to 223, majority 174, in an historic Commons vote. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Protesters in Parliament Square in London, during a demonstration against the proposed bombing of the Islamic State in Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the dispatch box in the House of Commons in central London on December 2, 2015 during the debate on a motion to join air strikes on Isis targets in Syria. AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Houses of Parliament are seen through a "Stop the War" banner as demonstrators protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on December 2, 2015, against the British government's proposed involvement in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. AFP PHOTO / CHRIS RATCLIFFECHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators hold "Don't Bomb Syria" placards as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on December 2, 2015, against the British government's proposed involvement in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. Britain's parliament looks set to vote in favour of joining air strikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria despite angry exchanges which have exposed deep divisions on military action. AFP PHOTO / CHRIS RATCLIFFECHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament in central London as MPs debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rouseau/PA Wire
An Apache helicopter outside the Houses of Parliament in central London as MPs debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rouseau/PA Wire
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliaments Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (C) speaking in the House of Commons in central London on December 2, 2015 flanked by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson (R) and Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn (L) during the debate on a motion to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria. Britain's parliament looked set to vote in favour of joining the bombing campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, despite growing doubts among the public and some MPs. Prime Minister David Cameron, who stepped up pressure for air strikes after last month's Paris attacks, will lead the House of Commons into more than 10 hours of debate on joining the US-led action. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / PRU " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - NO RESALE - NO DISTRIBUTION TO THIRD PARTIES - 24 HOURS USE - NO ARCHIVES-/AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
Prime Minister David Cameron, with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (right), sits down after speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. (PA Wire)
The road to war: Prime Minister David Cameron speaking during the debate in the House of Commons on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home to attend the House of Commons on December 2, 2015 in London, England. British MPs are expected to vote tonight on whether to back UK airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria, following a 10-hour long debate. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Protester Muhammad Abdur Rahman, 23, continues to protest outside Parliament since last night against the possible British involvement in airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria on December 2, 2015 in London, England. An all day debate will be taking place in the House of Commons, resulting in a vote at 10pm tonight. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

RAF Tornado jets have carried out the first British bombing runs over Syria - setting off 57 minutes after MPs voted for action for military action.

The air strikes were carried out within hours of a vote in the House of Commons to back extending operations against Islamic State (IS) from neighbouring Iraq.

Four RAF Tornado jets, which carry a range of munitions including Paveway IV guided bombs and precision-guided Brimstone missiles, took off from the Akrotiri base in Cyprus, reportedly targeting an oil field in eastern Syria.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the sorties had returned from the "first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes".

Prime Minister David Cameron has said MPs took the "right decision to keep the UK safe" after they overwhelmingly backed air strikes.

MPs voted by 397 to 223 last night in favour of extending British action to quash IS, also known as Isis, Isil and Daesh, from Iraq into its Syrian strongholds - a majority of 174.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was lauded by MPs from across the House for making a powerful speech warning his party that "we never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road".

He was among 66 Labour MPs who voted with the Government while seven Conservatives opposed the plans for military action.

Mr Cameron said: "I believe the House has taken the right decision to keep the UK safe - military action in Syria as one part of a broader strategy."

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain was "safer" following the decision to back air strikes.

Protesters stand behind a banner that reads 'Don't bomb Syria' during a demonstration against British military action in Syria outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Protesters stand behind a banner that reads 'Don't bomb Syria' during a demonstration against British military action in Syria outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators march past Conservative and Labour Party headquarters in London to protest against military intervention in Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 1, 2015. The emergency protest was called by the Stop the War coalition ahead of Wednesday's vote on airstrikes. See PA story Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Demonstrators march past Conservative and Labour Party headquarters in London to protest against military intervention in Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 1, 2015. The emergency protest was called by the Stop the War coalition ahead of Wednesday's vote on airstrikes. See PA story Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Demonstrators march past Conservative and Labour Party headquarters in London to protest against military intervention in Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 1, 2015. The emergency protest was called by the Stop the War coalition ahead of Wednesday's vote on airstrikes. See PA story Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Demonstrators march past Conservative and Labour Party headquarters in London to protest against military intervention in Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 1, 2015. The emergency protest was called by the Stop the War coalition ahead of Wednesday's vote on airstrikes. See PA story Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Thousands of people protest against military intervention in Syria near Parliament Square in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 1, 2015. The emergency protest was called by the Stop the War coalition ahead of Wednesday's vote on airstrikes. See PA story Syria Protest . Photo credit should read: Sam Dean/PA Wire
British campaigner and journalist Andrew Murray, Chair of the Stop the War Coalition, moves through police officers standing guard to hand in a letter at Conservative Party offices in central London on December 1, 2015 during a demonstration against British military action in Syria. Britain looks poised to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria this week after Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that a vote would be held in parliament on December 2. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A protester holds a placard reading 'Don't bomb Syria' during a demonstration against British military action in Syria outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2015. Britain looks poised to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria this week after Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that a vote would be held in parliament on December 2. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A protester holds a placard reading 'Don't bomb Syria' during a demonstration against British military action in Syria outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2015. Britain looks poised to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria this week after Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that a vote would be held in parliament on December 2. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A lone protester opposed to British military action in Syria holds a placard reading 'Don't be daft, Dave!' outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2015. Britain looks poised to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria this week after Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that a vote would be held in parliament on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
A peace protestor holds placards outside Downing Street, London, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a debate and vote in Parliament on Wednesday on whether Britain should launch airstrikes against militants in Syria, arguing that the nation must stand with its allies in confronting extremism. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: A protester holds a banner with the slogan "No Terror Attacks Are Righteous" during Stop The War Coalition's emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters has been called ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Police officers stand guard at the Conservative Party's Headquarters during the Stop The War Coalition's emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters has been called ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Protesters depart Parliament Square during Stop The War Coalition's emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters has been called ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Protesters arrive back in Parliament Square after Stop The War Coalition's emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters has been called ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Protesters hold up a Syrian flag as they take part in a Stop The War Coalition emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest, which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters, has been organised ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Protesters hold up banners as they take part in a Stop The War Coalition emergency protest on December 1, 2015 in London, England. The emergency protest, which will march past The Conservative and Labour party headquarters, has been organised ahead of tomorrows vote in Parliament on whether the United Kingdom will commence bombing operations over Syria. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

"We are very pleased that a significant number of Labour MPs have voted with the Government tonight so we have got a clear majority across the House of Commons in support of the action that we are now going to be taking to degrade this evil terrorist organisation, " he told Sky News.

"Britain is safer tonight because of the decision that the House of Commons has taken."

The vote has blown open deep divisions in the Labour Party with claims that MPs in favour of military action have faced threats of recriminations.

British bombers made their first strikes on Syria on Thursday, just hours after Parliament voted to target Daesh -- so-called Islamic State -- in Syria. Four Tornado bombers took off from the RAF Akrotiri air base in Cyprus and made strikes on six targets in oilfields around Deir al-Zawr in eastern Syria.
British bombers made their first strikes on Syria on Thursday, just hours after Parliament voted to target Daesh -- so-called Islamic State -- in Syria. Four Tornado bombers took off from the RAF Akrotiri air base in Cyprus and made strikes on six targets in oilfields around Deir al-Zawr in eastern Syria.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn's protests that the Government had failed to set out a convincing case did little to persuade a significant number of his parliamentary party, with 11 members of the shadow cabinet - including shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, deputy leader Tom Watson, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander and shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant - choosing to support Mr Cameron.

Pacifist Mr Corbyn was forced to offer his MPs a free vote and allowed Mr Benn to wrap up the debate arguing in favour of air strikes, in a messy compromise to stop the party from falling apart.

In astonishing scenes, the shadow foreign secretary gave an impassioned speech directly challenging his party leader, who sat beside him watching while MPs from across the House broke out into cheers of support.

Mr Benn told MPs Britain was under threat from fascists that held the country in contempt.

He added: "I say the threat is now and there are rarely, if ever, perfect circumstances in which to deploy military forces."

Mr Cameron opened more than 10 hours of debate in the Commons by warning that the "women-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters" of IS were "plotting to kill us and to radicalise our children right now".

Critics of the military intervention have disputed claims that 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria would be able to take on IS.

Tory chairman of the defence select committee Julian Lewis warned that "instead of having dodgy dossiers, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters".

US president Barack Obama welcomed the vote, describing IS as "a global threat that must be defeated by a global response".

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist threats, said "Islamic State (IS) supporters on Twitter erupted in threats toward the UK and other Western countries" following the vote.

Statement from UUP MPs

Ulster Unionist MPs, Tom Elliott and Danny Kinahan, have issued a joint statement following Wednesday night's vote in the House of Commons.

"The vote has been taken and we must all coalesce around the will of Parliament.

"A wide-ranging strategy has been decided on, which includes air strikes against Daesh in Syria. We have a collective duty to unite behind our brave service men and women who will be flying sorties over Syria, potentially within hours.

"Commanding our men and women to intervene where they could potentially be killed or injured is one of the gravest decisions that Parliament can take. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and all our Armed Forces.

"We ask everyone to remember we did not seek this fight, but we cannot walk away from taking a stand against the slaughter of the innocent that is the tactic of those who attack us and despise our way of life."

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Syria vote: SDLP leader Colum Eastwood calls on David Cameron to withdraw 'terrorist sympathisers' remarks  

Cameron was asked 14 times to apologise

The Prime Minister was asked 14 times to apologise for his "terrorist sympathiser" comment throughout the debate.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, put the PM on the spot  by saying that those with different views must be "treated with respect".

He says the Prime Minister's attempt to brand people not supporting his view as 'terrorist sympathisers', "demeans the office of Prime Minister and I believe undermines the seriousness of deliberations today."

He also called for the PM to apologise by saying: "If the Prime Minister wants to apologise I would be happy to hear from him."

Corbyn told MPs: "It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the prime minister understands public opposition to his ill thought-out rush to war is growing - and wants to hold the vote before it slips from his hands.

"It's become increasingly clear that the prime minister's proposals for military action simply do not stack up."

He disputed Cameron's claim about ground troops, saying it was "quite clear there are no such forces" and only extremists would take advantage of the strikes against Isil.

Margaret Beckett, Labour's former foreign secretary: We must help France

Margaret Beckett argued in support of air strikes in Syria, saying that Isil can be judged not by their words, but by their "deeds" and action must be taken to stop them.

She said Britain has a duty to help France and posed the question: "How would we feel if France refused to help us in the reverse situation?"

UK has an important role to play in global fight against Daesh – Danny Kinahan MP

South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan has said the United Kingdom has an important role to play in the global fight against Daesh in Syria.

He said: “This is not a decision to be made lightly. Having recently visited Kurdistan, witnessing the efforts on the ground to fight Daesh and hearing the extensive proposals of the UK Government, I am certain that doing nothing is not an option.

“Having read the motion, I believe that there is a framework in line with the United Nations Charter. This is not a vote to go to war; nor is it a vote to bomb Syria. The vote today is to decide on a coordinated operation to tackle Daesh in Syria, as our forces are currently successfully doing in Iraq.

"Air strikes would form part of a wider campaign, which will include humanitarian support and planning for post-conflict stabilisation in Syria. Political and diplomatic efforts must be paired with military action, and I feel assured that extensive humanitarian work within the region will be paramount in any short or long term plan.

"The United Kingdom is a top tier target for Daesh. It is important that we are part of the coalition effort to bring an end to their indiscriminate terror. If you are stung by a wasp, you must remove the nest.”

DUP and Ulster Unionist Party to support vote

The majority of Northern Ireland's MPs will support air strikes in Syria during Wednesday's vote.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, said the party's eight MPs will support the Government and has warned against "the consequences of appeasing and indulging terrorism".

Along with the eight MPs of the DUP supporting Wednesday's vote, two MPs from the Ulster Unionist Party will back the intervention.

Tom Elliott MP of the UUP said: “The Ulster Unionist Party has indicated for some time that if the conditions set out by the Prime Minister on military intervention in Syria were reasonable that our MPs would support the action.

“We have now seen the motion and believe that it is a framework in line with the United Nations Charter and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2249.

“While we will monitor today’s debate and assess what is said by the Prime Minister and other Government representatives, it is the intention that the Ulster Unionist Party Members of Parliament will be voting in favour of the motion. The Party believes it meets the criteria we had outlined as necessary to support military action."

Social Democratic and Labour Party to oppose

The Social Democratic and Labour Party MPs will vote against air strikes in Syria.

The leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood, said his party's three MPs "will proudly walk through the voting lobbies with our colleagues in Labour, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and other parties to oppose military action".

MPs will vote on war in Syria after more than 10 hours of debate throughout the day.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood asks for Mr Cameron to withdraw remarks against the opposition

Mr Eastwood also called on David Cameron to withdraw remarks describing MPs opposed to air strikes in Syria as 'terrorist sympathisers'.

On Tuesday David Cameron told Conservative MPs not to side with "a bunch of terrorist sympathisers" ahead of the vote on UK air strikes.

“You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers,” the PM reportedly told  a meeting of the 1922 committee.

Mr Eastwood said: "David Cameron’s remarks describing those opposed to air strikes in Syria as ‘terrorist sympathisers’ are appalling, inaccurate and offensive in the extreme.

"Opposing military action in Syria that will kill innocents and can only feed the evil we all want to defeat is not sympathy with terrorists, it’s part of the lesson we have learned from decades of conflict.

"To describe people like Mark Durkan, Margaret Ritchie and Alasdair McDonnell as ‘terrorist sympathisers’ is absolutely galling. These are people who stood strongly against violence for over forty years at great personal risk while people like David Cameron enjoyed a life of privilege. His comments are totally despicable and he should withdraw them immediately.

"SDLP MPs will proudly walk through the voting lobbies with our colleagues in Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and other parties to oppose military action tomorrow. We will not legitimise the trigger finger of a Prime Minister more concerned with the theatrics of winning a political victory over the Labour Party than the devastation that will rain down on innocents in Raqqa as they are used as human shields by vicious cowards in IS.

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Syria protests: Thousands march in London against air strikes

There aren't 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria - It’s another David Cameron Photoshop  

"There are all sorts of claims that airstrikes are a precise form of attack. Yet we know from experience in places like Gaza that they’re not. I’ve been at the scene of an airstrike the day after someone pressed the button. I know the devastation they can have. This is not the right way to deal with the threat from IS."

"Cameron will win no allies by decrying those with legitimate concerns about his plans. He should resile from his comments immediately and see sense."

Labour dismissed the Prime Minister’s comments as a "contemptible and desperate slur which demeans his office".

A Labour party spokesman said: "He clearly realises he has failed to make a convincing case for military action in Syria and opinion is shifting away from him."

Earlier DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds MP said that the DUP would be supporting the Government’s motion on UK military action in Syria.

Mr Dodds said: "Our test throughout has been one of realism. Our experience in Northern Ireland has taught us that no other approach can be brought to terrorism.

"We needed to know that the vile terrorists of ISIL/Daesh would be the target. We had to be sure that they are a clear and present danger to the UK. We needed to be convinced that British action would make a real and practical difference. And we required a definite strategic framework being in place, including a clear exit strategy for British personnel.

"After repeated briefings from the National Security Council on Privy Council Terms, and much discussion with the Prime Minister and others in government, we have concluded that the time is right for us to act, and to act decisively.

"Terrorism requires an answer from all civilised countries. We in Northern Ireland know what it’s like for terrorism to be ignored or appeased.

"Unlike the failed strategy advocated in 2013, which we opposed, there is now a realistic chance that overwhelming pressure can be brought to bear against Daesh.

"The Vienna agreement, the range of countries, now including Germany, ready to act militarily, and the unanimous support in the UN Security Council all point to the differences with 2013.

"Paris, like the downing of the Russian Metrojet in Sinai and the recent bomb attacks in Beirut, were assaults upon civilised values which must be met with resolve and quiet certainty. No other British City should have to suffer the way Belfast and other towns and places in Northern Ireland did for so many years. If we can realistically do something to destroy this evil, to prevent it spreading still further, we should act now.

"I applaud the specific commitments the Prime Minister has made in response to the points I have put to him, not least about the use of British ground forces. Western arms can do their bit to help address Middle Eastern problems, but ultimately they must solve their problems themselves.

"But the moment has come where we can no longer stand by on the other side. Civilians are dying, being raped or enslaved at the hands of ISIL/Daesh every day. These are the civilian casualties already happening and we must not through inaction prolong their suffering.

"Now that British armed forces are to be employed in the common good, it is the duty of every credible political figure to offer them his or her support. The Leader of the Opposition has a reprehensible track record of defending the claims of terrorists against our brave servicemen and women. He will not easily be forgiven if he does so again. We wish HM Armed Forces success as they do their hard and necessary work, and pray for a safe return for them all."

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