The United Kingdom is ready to “play its part” in the global fight against the Islamic State group, Prime Minister David Cameron said late on Wednesday, adding that he will ask parliament to approve the launch of British airstrikes in Iraq, according to media reports.
Addressing the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Cameron reportedly said that “past mistakes” should not be an “excuse for indifference or inaction,” referring to the U.S.-led war in Iraq a decade ago.
“We have a need to act in our own national interest to protect our people and our society. So it is right that Britain should now move to a new phase of action,” Cameron reportedly said, and warned that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, had “murderous plans to expand… well beyond Iraq and Syria and to carry out terrorist atrocities right across the world.”
Cameron also reportedly said that the Islamic State group, which has a “sick, extremist world view,” had recruited fighters from all over the world, including 500 from the U.K.
I have requested that Parliament be recalled to debate the UK response to the Iraqi Govt's request for support against ISIL.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) September 24, 2014
The British prime minister, after meeting his Iraqi counterpart earlier in the day, emphasized that the decision to join the airstrikes was being considered only because the Iraqi government had requested it.
“What we are doing is legal and it is right. It does not involve British combat troops on the ground…I'm confident we will get this through on an all-party basis,” Cameron reportedly said, before addressing the U.N. General Assembly, according to a Reuters report.
Cameron, however, did not mention the prospect of joining the U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, which began Tuesday.
He also ruled out an alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad to defeat the Islamic State group, accusing him of “bias and the brutality” that contributed to the rise of extremism in the region.
Meanwhile, American and Arab planes continued bombing the Islamic State group’s strongholds in Syria, targeting, on Wednesday, the Sunni extremist group’s oil operations in the east, along the border with Iraq.