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Bombing of Syria by RAF back on the agenda as Cameron talks tough over IS

By Staff Reporters

Published 18/11/2015

England manager Roy Hodgson (left), PM David Cameron (third left), Prince William (fourth left) and France’s coach Didier Deschamps (far right) observe a minute’s silence before the start of the friendly football match between England and France last night
England manager Roy Hodgson (left), PM David Cameron (third left), Prince William (fourth left) and France’s coach Didier Deschamps (far right) observe a minute’s silence before the start of the friendly football match between England and France last night
Police secure a street in Hannover last night
Counter-terrorism officers patrol inside Wembley
Prince William, accompanied by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, signs the book of condolences at the French embassy
Prince William, accompanied by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, signs the book of condolences at the French embassy

David Cameron has pledged to make the case for RAF air strikes against IS targets in Syria in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The Prime Minister said that the jihadists - who have claimed responsibility for the bloody wave of assaults in the French capital - represented a "direct and growing threat" to the UK.

Mr Cameron told MPs Raqqa in Syria was the "snake's head" for IS and Britain should be attacking there to "rid the world of this evil".

The statement - which sets up a Commons showdown with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has made clear his opposition to military action - came as France issued an unprecedented demand for its EU allies to support its military action against IS.

The French invoked a never-before-used article of the EU's Lisbon Treaty which requires member states to provide "aid and assistance by all the means in their power" to a member that is "the victim of armed aggression on its territory".

While Mr Cameron said that he would look very carefully at what Paris was saying, he made clear that he was determined to do all he could to support "our brothers and sisters" in France.

"We face a direct and growing threat to our country and we need to deal with it, not just in Iraq but in Syria too. Our allies are asking us to do this and the case for doing so has only grown stronger after the Paris attacks," the PM said.

Meanwhile, English and French footballers stood shoulder to shoulder before their friendly match at Wembley.

The Duke of Cambridge, the chairman of the FA, and the coaches of the two teams, Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps, laid a wreaths on the touchline before kick-off.

Mr Cameron, Mr Corbyn and London mayor Boris Johnson were also present in a show of solidarity.

Armed officers were deployed at the stadium as fans rallied to show defiance in the face of terrorism.

Not one of the French squad members rejected the opportunity to feature at Wembley - not even Lassana Diarra, whose cousin Asta Diakite was killed, or Antoine Griezmann, whose sister survived the shooting at the Bataclan.

A minute's silence was impeccably observed by fans as the players stood in with their heads bowed.

England won the match 2-0, but the message of solidarity and togetherness between the neighbouring nations was more important than the scoreline for many of those watching.

However, a friendly match between Germany and The Netherlands in Hannover was cancelled at short notice and fans were evacuated from the stadium.

Hannover's chief of police said authorities received a warning about a possible bomb threat shortly before the match.

Police chief Volker Kluwe told German public broadcaster NDR that the alleged threat 15 minutes before the gates opened involved the "detonation of explosives in the stadium". Officials later said denied that explosives were found outside the stadium. There were no arrests.

It also emerged that French authorities are seeking a second fugitive directly involved in the Paris terror attacks which killed 129 people.

Three officials said an analysis of the series of attacks on November 13 indicated that one person directly involved was unaccounted for. The person has not been identified.

French and Belgian authorities have already issued a warrant for Salah Abdeslam, whose brother Brahim was among the attackers.

A third brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, earlier made a TV appeal for Salah Abdeslam to turn himself in.

Mr Abdeslam, who spoke to French TV station BFM, said his brother was devout but showed no signs of being a radical Islamist.

He said: "Of course I call on him to turn himself over to the police. The best would be for him to give himself up so that justice can shed all the light on this."

Belfast Telegraph

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