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June 28, 2022

France says UK air force needed in Syria to raise pressure on Islamic State

Image: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (C) looks at an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet during his visit to Royal Air Force station RAF Northolt in London, Britain November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Justin Tallis/pool

PARIS (Reuters) – British air force capabilities would make a difference in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, with precision strikes especially increasing pressure on the group, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a column on Thursday.

The opinion piece in the Guardian newspaper was published after Prime Minister David Cameron urged parliament on Thursday to back British air strikes against Islamic State in Syria. Cameron told MPs Britain could not “subcontract its security to other countries”.

“We need British defence capabilities to win this war. The Royal Air Force is already in action over Iraq. Its involvement over Syria would make a practical difference,” Le Drian wrote in the column, published on the Guardian website.

“The RAF has significant capabilities for precision air strikes, aerial reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling support. On a daily basis, its Tornado aircraft and unmanned drones are causing very severe damage to Isis (Islamic State) in Iraq. The use of these capabilities over Syria would put additional and extreme pressure on the Isis terror network.”


(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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