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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

'UK letting down allies in Syria'

Iran Press TV

Sun Nov 8, 2015 1:11PM

Calls are growing among British politicians for the country to get involved in anti-ISIL air strikes in Syria. General Nicholas Houghton, the chief of Britain's defence staff, said on Sunday that the country was 'letting down' allies by not participating in air strikes against ISIL in Syria.

'To an extent yes, we are letting our allies down by not being a full player,' General Houghton told Sky News.

'The source of their power, their command and control, their logistics, their organisation, the place from which they issue orders to international terrorists is from within Syria.

'In the most simplistic way it's like being asked to win a football match but not being able to go into the opponents' half,' he added.

Britain is part of a coalition hitting ISIL targets in Iraq, but its parliament has yet to be convinced of the need to join air strikes in neighbouring Syria and an influential committee of MPs recently advised against action.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond later denied that the government had given up on a parliamentary vote.

'We are in exactly the same place that we've been for months,' AFP has quoted Hammond as telling the BBC.

'When we think it is right to do so, when we think we have a consensus, we will go to the House of Commons.'

Hammond said the government was still in an 'exploratory' phase with the opposition Labour party, which recently elected leftist Jeremy Corbyn as its leader, and was yet to establish if it had the cross-party support required to win a vote to extend the air strikes.

He admitted that Britain's decision 'wasn't going to tip the balance' in Syria and called for a political solution to bring about a ceasefire in the four-year civil war.

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