Jon Cruddas urges nation to ‘tread carefully’ after Romford MP calls for Iraq air strikes
12:08 12 August 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Jon Cruddas MP has urged the nation to “tread carefully” following Romford MP Andrew Rosindell’s call for “immediate targeted air strikes” in Iraq.
The Rainham and Dagenham MP said that he supports US president Barack Obama’s decision to target Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq “to prevent the slaughter of terrified and vulnerable people”.
Bur Labour’s Mr Cruddas said that the UK should not join the US bombing campaign at present, as Mr Rosindell has called for, and instead the situation should be kept “under review”.
IS has seized territories in Iraq and Syria in the past months and reports continue of murders of Christians and Iraqi minority religious groups such as the Yazidis.
Yazidis have been particularly targeted and thousands are trapped in the Sinjar mountains without food and water, it has been reported.
Mr Cruddas said: “International action is vital to help prevent a brutal and horrific escalation, but it will be the Iraqi’s themselves, with international support, who hold the key to tackling this current crisis in the long term which will only be resolved by political reconciliation of Iraq’s communities and a strengthening of Iraq’s security forces.”
But Conservative Mr Rosindell said Britain should collaborate with the US in air strikes immediately.
He said: “The atrocities that we can see being committed by Islamic State militants in Northern Iraq are indefensible tragedies of the most extreme proportions.
“Britain has unique military capabilities and it is only right that these should be extended to preserve the lives of innocent civilians. We simply cannot, and should not, stand idly by and witness the unlawful and thoughtless slaughter of families in their homes, on the streets and in the mountains.
“It is unthinkable that anybody alive today should be forced to choose between starvation or execution.
“It is vital that support is offered wherever possible and that we act within our means to defend innocent civilians against the brutal extremism of Islamic State. These severe acts of terrorism must be met with robust force and be universally condemned.”
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