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Britain, Belgium and Netherlands to debate joining airstrikes on Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Climate Summit 2014 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, on September 23, 2014. (EPA/Peter Foley)

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Climate Summit 2014 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, on September 23, 2014. (EPA/Peter Foley)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The British, Dutch and Belgian parliaments are to consider proposals to join the US-led coalition’s airstrikes on Iraq, according to reports.

Sources in the British prime minister’s office said the UK’s parliament would be recalled from its summer recess on Friday in order to vote on the issue, the BBC reported.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is expected to issue a formal request for British assistance while at the UN on Wednesday.

In an interview with the American NBC News earlier this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was one “you cannot opt out of.”

“It has oil, it has money, it has territory, it has weapons and there’s no doubt in my mind it has already undertaken and is planning further plots in Europe and elsewhere,” he added.

Although Cameron has previously hinted that he does not consider the Syrian government “legitimate,” the BBC also reported that any parliamentary vote would be authorizing military action in Iraq but not Syria, because of fears about the legality of such a move and opposition from the Labour Party.

A parliamentary motion to approve military action against the Syrian government failed last year amid opposition from Labour—the official opposition—and from within Cameron’s own Conservative Party.

A US-led coalition encompassing Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Iraq, American jets have been bombing ISIS targets since August, and were recently joined by French warplanes.

In addition to France, the Australian government recently announced it was sending warplanes to the UAE in preparation for joining the US in strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Also on Wednesday, the Dutch and Belgian governments said they would consider sending air force jets to assist in the US strikes in Iraq.

The Dutch news agency ANP announced on Wednesday that the government of the Netherlands is to consider sending a small number of combat jets to the region to join in the campaign against ISIS.

The same day, the Belgian Ministry of Defense confirmed it had received a request for assistance from the US, and would prepare a plan to send six F-16 fighters to join US efforts. The move would need approval from the Belgian parliament and is expected to be granted later this week.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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