Sir Hugh Robertson comments on UK airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.
“Having spent the past year at the FCO dealing with Iraq, Syria and Islamic extremists first hand, I have no doubt that airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq are justified, particularly in view of the request for help delivered by the Iraqi Prime Minister at the UN. The barbaric behaviour of IS towards civilians in the region, particularly Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and, indeed, Western hostages has shocked everyone and must be stopped. Indeed, I fear that, in due course, we will have to pursue them in Syria as well, given the cross border nature of the threat.
“However, airstrikes alone will not solve the problem. There will need to be follow up on the ground, preferably by local forces, and a political solution in Baghdad brokered by the new government that encompasses all of the people of Iraq.”