After the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, France asked its allies to bump up their military offensive against ISIS. Now Britain and Germany will decide whether they will.
The parliaments of both countries are debating their leaders’ requests for greater military commitment against the terror group. And the measures are expected to be approved.
The UK proposal would add British warplanes to the airstrike campaign against ISIS inside Syria. Currently, the UK is carrying out airstrikes only in Iraq.
The German plan would activate 1,200 troops in anti-ISIS efforts, but in a support role, not direct combat.
British lawmakers began debating late Wednesday morning on whether to expand UK airstrikes to include ISIS strongholds in Syria. The discussion is expected to last some 10½ hours.
Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off the debate by saying that ISIS is a threat to the British people, proved in part through the beheadings of UK hostages in the Middle East and other atrocities.
“This is not about whether we want to fight terrorism. It’s about how best we do that,” Cameron said.
He said the UK faces “‘a fundamental threat to our security” and posed the question, “Do we work with our allies to degrade and destruct this threat … or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”
Britain is already part of a U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS from the air but has until now limited strikes to targets in Iraq.
“This is the right thing to do to keep Britain safe, to deal with this evil organization and as part of a process to bring peace and stability to Syria,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told CNN.