Just a few hours after the debate in the House Commons on whether Britain should bomb Syria, British bombers made their first strikes on the so-called Islamic State in Syria, today, Thursday December 3rd 2015.
The strikes targeted oil fields that Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron says are being used to fund attacks on the West.
Tornado bombers took off from the RAF Akrotiri air base in Cyprus just hours after British lawmakers voted 397 – 223 to support Cameron’s plan for air strikes.
Several hours later, the bombers returned to base safely. Cameron has already warned that the campaign will “take time”, meaning there are more jets that will be flying to Syria.
Leading the opposition to the strikes, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated, “David Cameron’s case was not convincing, lacking either credible ground troops or a plan for a diplomatic settlement”.
“Since he first made his case for airstrikes in Syria, last Thursday [26 November 2015], opposition has mounted; in the country, in parliament and in the Labour Party”.
Protesters in London against Britain going into “yet another war”, have been saying “#DontBombSyria”; citing lessons to be taken from previous conflicts in the region. The issue that bombing Syria will inevitably involve civilian deaths just like in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, was the common point shared across those opposing the airstrikes.
In a closed-door meeting, Cameron reportedly called MPs who opposed airstrikes, “a bunch of terrorist sympathisers” – much to the disapproval and outrage both in parliament and social media.
Despite over 12 calls from MPs in the debate during the Commons debate for the PM to retract his comments, Cameron did not apologise.
Twitter was sent into a paroxysm of rage as users shared their anger over Cameron’s comments. Isa Guha wrote, “This is getting a bit ridiculous now. How can you be a terrorist sympathiser for not wanting innocent people to die??? #DontBombSyria”.