Britain’s parliament on Friday overwhelmingly approved airstrikes in Iraq against targets of the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State.
The vote was 524-43, providing the government a 481-vote majority. The vote served as a significant win for UK Prime Minister David Cameron after parliament stunningly rejected his call for airstrikes against Syrian government targets last year.
ISIS has taken aim at the UK in a few different ways. Nearly two weeks ago, ISIS killed British aid worker David Haines. And the man who serves as the executioner in the videos of Haines and two American journalists speaks with a British accent.
Before the vote, Cameron told parliament the “hallmarks” of the air campaign against the group “patience and persistence,” rejecting the “shock and awe” characterization of the initial stages of the Iraq war.
The UK will now join an airstrike campaign that has been led by the US since early August. The US has conducted more than 200 strikes against ISIS-held targets in Iraq, and this week expanded the air campaign into Syria. The motion in Britain’s parliament rules out strikes in Syria in lieu of a separate vote.
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