UK Looks to Expand Airstrikes into Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister is pressing Parliament to approve expanding the fight against ISIS to airstrikes in Syria as well as Iraq, reported The Guardian. Meeting with French President François Hollande, David Cameron said that it is his “firm conviction” that the UK should follow France’s example, intensifying airstrikes against ISIS in the wake of the Paris attacks earlier this month. “We must also do more to defeat ISIL in their heartlands in Syria and Iraq,” he added, Nov. 23. Parliament is slated to vote on expanding airstrikes next week, and in the meantime Cameron offered French combat aircraft use of RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, to enhance its strike capabilities. Britain’s Royal Air Force began strikes from Akrotiri against ISIS militants in Iraq shortly after the air campaign kicked off last September. RAF Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft at Akrotiri have been actively supporting ground operations near Ramadi and Sinjar in the last few weeks, augmented and supported by RAF MQ-9 Reapers, tankers, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft, according to a release. The RAF postponed the drawdown of its Tornado fleet until next year, specifically to support the campaign, dubbed Operation Shader by British forces, reported Flight Global.