The motion before parliament asked MPs to approve ‘military action, specifically air strikes, exclusively against Isil [Isis] in Syria’ as part of the international coalition against the Islamist militants.
Airstrikes within hours
Britain will now join France in a heightened US-led coalition aimed at expanding and focusing strikes against Islamic State in its heartlands, with air strikes by Britain in Syria against IS set to launch within hours of the vote.
Legal case transformed
The government’s legal case for bombing Syria was transformed by the terror attacks in Paris and the resulting UN security council motion on 20 November, which urged states to ‘take all necessary measures’ against Islamic State. David Cameron included the entire text of the UN document in his manifesto for military action in Syria and deployed a range of legal arguments, mainly relying on the principle of legitimate self-defence, to demonstrate that air strikes are permitted under international law. Sources: Financial Times; BBC; The Guardian