More than a dozen ISIS militants have died in airstrikes on Syria carried out by US and allied Arab airforces. A third night of bombing has targeted oil installations held by the Islamic extremist group. Fighter jets, bombers, missiles and drones were all used in the strikes which are aimed at hobbling ISIS financially and logistically. The strikes also killed at least five civilians, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The strikes hit facilities around al Mayadin, al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal, the US military said. The initial days of US attacks suggest another aim is to hamper Islamic State’s ability to operate across the Syria-Iraq frontier.
Meanwhile, British prime minister David Cameron said carrying out air strikes against the fanatics would be “legal and right”.And he warned that the terrorists posed a “direct threat” to the UK. He has summoned MPs back to Westminster on Friday to vote on whether Britain should launch the attacks. Labour will back the bombing raids after the PM agreed to limit them to Iraq. RAF Tornados are expected to be in action against the fanatics – also known as ISIS, and ISIL – within hours of a 5pm vote. The IS jihadis are guilty of outrages including beheading British and US hostages. Speaking at the United Nations in New York, the PM said: “I have been asked by the Iraqi government for our help so I will be recalling the British parliament on Friday so that Britain can take part in international air strikes against Isil in Iraq. “What we are doing is legal, it is right. It does not involve British combat troops on the ground and, as ever with our country when we are threatened in this way, we should not turn away from what needs to be done.
“We are dealing with psychopathic, murderous, brutal people who will stop at nothing to carry out dreadful acts on hostages.”It’s very important we do the right thing as a country and we stick to a comprehensive strategy including all the elements at our disposal – humanitarian aid, diplomacy and also, where appropriate, military action. That is the way in which we are proceeding.” “It does not involve British combat troops on the ground and, as ever with our country when we are threatened in this way, we should not turn away from what needs to be done.” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon also raised the prospect of attacking IS forces across the border in their Syria stronghold. But Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned that his party could not back that without a UN resolution, which Russia would block. Last summer Mr Cameron suffered a devastating Commons defeat in a vote on air strikes in Syria.
He has agreed that the motion voted on Friday will be limited to authorising blitzes in Iraq.Mr Cameron would need to hold another vote to target terrorists in Syria. There are still expected to be a handful of MPs who will vote against military action. But the PM said: “I’m confident we will get this through Parliament on an all-party basis and I think it is right for our country to be united at this time.” The Cabinet will meet today to discuss military action. Mr Cameron will then open tomorrow’s debate and Deputy PM Nick Clegg will close it. MPs will have around seven hours to give their views ahead of the vote. Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg last night said his MPs would support the attacks. He added: “There are many people across the country who see what this medieval murderous organisation does, slaughtering people regardless of their ethnicity or religion; an organisation which is actively plotting to do us harm in this country.
“I think most people across the country want the British Government to play our part in ridding the world of this vile threat.”MPs are currently on recess from Westminster for the party conference season. Mr Cameron announced that he had asked Speaker John Bercow to recall them on Twitter. The decision came as he met Iraq leader Haider Abadi who was due to make the formal request for military help. Barack Obama urged the world to unite over IS and to “dismantle this network of death”. Speaking to the UN’s General Assembly, he said there could be no negotiation with the terror group which only Mr Obama also warned jihadis in Syria and Iraq to “leave the battlefield while they can”. He listed their atrocities against women and religious minorities and called the beheading of hostages, including UK aid worker David Haines, “the most horrific crimes imaginable”.
The US president said: “No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions.“There can be no reasoning, no negotiation with this brand of evil. “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. “So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.” He said the US would not send troops to “occupy foreign lands”, but would “support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities”. America has assembled a coalition of more than 40 nations, including Arab states. Experts said UK military action could put the lives of British hostages in Syria at greater risk.
The wife of aid worker Alan Henning, 47, has again appealed to his IS captors to free him after they sent her a chilling recording of him pleading for his life. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said intelligence agencies are “getting warm” on the identity of Jihadi John, the IS thug with a British accent seen in the videos of the beheading of Mr Haines and US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. After holding a meeting of the Shadow Cabinet at the end of his party’s conference in Manchester, Mr Miliband said: “We cannot turn away from the threat of ISIL which is a murderous organisation, has taken British hostages, threatens the stability of the region and is therefore a threat to the UK’s national interest. “That is why we will be supporting the Government’s proposal for UK air strikes in Iraq against ISIL. “I want to reassure people there is no question of committing UK ground troops. “There is an alliance which includes countries in the region. “We will learn the lessons of the past, but we will not turn away from threats to our national interest.” Mr Cameron also sought to enlist Iran’s backing for the coalition against IS when he met counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the UN. It was the first time a British prime minister has met a leader from the hardline Islamic regime since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Afterwards, Mr Cameron was overheard telling an aide: “A little bit of history made.”A terror group linked to IS announced it had beheaded a French tourist in Algeria . Jund al-Khilafa killed Herve Gourdel, 55, after its deadline for France to halt air strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq ran out. President Francois Hollande condemned the killing and said French bombings, which began on IS targets in Iraq last week, would continue. Former British Security minister Admiral Lord West has warned that IS, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria, are as bad as the Nazis. The Labour peer said: “We are fighting against a group who are killing British citizens and… wish to destroy the British state. “You’ve got a group who are like the Nazis at their worst. We have to use everything in our armoury to destroy them. “I think they will be got. They might think they can get away – they can’t. It might take 20 years but we will get them.” The US-led coalition unleashed more strikes on IS fighters on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Dozens of militants were reportedly killed in the first attack in Syria on Monday. Civilians are also believed to have died. The UN Security Council demanded that all states make it a serious criminal offence for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militants, or to recruit and fund others to do so.