Prime Minister David Cameron pledged on Monday to seek parliamentary support for expanding British airstrikes into Syria, as France opened a week of high-level talks to press for intensified military campaigns against the Islamic State, reported The Independent.
“Later this week, I will set out in parliament our comprehensive strategy for tackling ISIL,” Cameron said during a visit to the French capital.
Cameron and French President François Hollande placed roses outside a Paris concert hall — the scene of the worst bloodshed in the Nov. 13 attacks — as the two leaders paid homage to the 130 people killed in the most deadly rampage on French soil since World War II.
In the days following the attacks, European nations have imposed new security measures, and France has called on European Union nations and others to mobilize their military and diplomatic might against the Islamic State.
Hollande plans further meetings this week with President Obama and leaders from Germany and Russia on strategies against the Islamic State amid parallel efforts to end Syria’s nearly five-year civil war.
In neighboring Belgium, the capital Brussels remained on partial lockdown for a third day after security forces arrested more than 20 people. The raids were aimed at disrupting a suspected plot to mount an assault similar to the Paris attacks, officials said.
According to BBC, Cameron, who called the Islamic State an “evil death cult,” offered France use of a British air base in Cyprus, providing France additional means for aerial raids against militant strongholds in Syria.
French warplanes have been launching sorties in Syria from bases in the Middle East. In the eastern Mediterranean, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle joined the forces Monday.
“I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria,” Cameron said. “It is my firm conviction that Britain should do so, too.”
British lawmakers voted to approve airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq last year. But in August 2013, Cameron suffered a major defeat when he sought parliamentary approval to launch strikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.