France urges UK to join fight against Islamic State in Syria

LONDON: France’s defence minister urged British MPs Thursday to vote in favour of the country joining air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria in the wake of the Paris attacks.

In an unusual public appeal for British military action by a foreign defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian called for Britain’s help to “win this war”.

“It is France’s hope that British forces will soon be working side by side with their French counterparts to take this fight to the very heart of ISIS, defeating it and making our countries and peoples safer,” he wrote in the Guardian newspaper, using an alternative acronym for IS.

British Prime Minister David Cameron presented his case for Britain joining air strikes on Syria to MPs in the House of Commons earlier Thursday and is expected to call a vote on the issue next week.

While the numbers are tight and the leader of the main opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is personally opposed, MPs are expected to approve the move.

France is currently engaged in a diplomatic push to step up efforts to defeat IS following the November 13 attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.


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