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No majority for British airstrikes in Syria

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British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon on Sunday said the government does not yet have majority votes from MPs to back airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Britain has so far refrained from bombing IS in Syria after MPs rejected a vote for airstrikes against Syrian government targets in 2013. However, it is taking part in airstrikes against IS in Iraq, BBC reported.

Fallon said it would be harder to get a majority if the Labour Party ordered its MPs to vote against airstrikes in Syria.

The minister said it was dangerous not to try to defeat IS with force.

“We also have to defend ourselves… we are already a top target,” he said.

“There are always risks in war but there is a greater risk from not doing something about IS and leaving our streets vulnerable to the kind of slaughter we saw in Paris.”

However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he opposed the strikes but he had not decided whether to give his MPs a free vote.

Corbyn said the government had not convinced him that bombing was the way forward.

“I don’t think it will solve the problem that is there,” he said.

Corbyn said he had received 70,000 responses to a survey sent out to Labour supporters on Friday canvassing their opinions, and a decision would be taken “as a party”.