London: UK will be a safer place if it answers the call from its allies to join in the air strikes on Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday as he asked lawmakers to take a more aggressive stance on Islamic State (IS) ahead of a crucial vote in the parliament.
Cameron was making the case for Britain to target IS terrorists in Syria during a day-long debate today expected to last around 10 hours.
"The question before the House today is how we keep the British people safe from the threat posed by ISIL. This is not about whether we want to fight terrorism, it's about how best we do that," he told MPs during a House of Commons debate.
"We should answer the call from our allies. The action we propose is legal, it is necessary and it is the right thing to do to keep our country safe," he said.
The Conservative party leader was repeatedly asked to apologise by Opposition Labour MPs for comments he reportedly made to fellow Conservative MPs?yesterday, urging them not to vote with "a bunch of terrorism sympathisers".
He refused to do so, saying only: "I respect people who come to a different view from the government... I am not pretending that the answers are simple, the situation in Syria is incredibly complex."
He stressed the terror threat from the IS, which he referred to as "Daesh", another term for the Islamist extremists.
"The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands? Or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?"
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opposes bombing but has given MPs a free vote amid divisions within his own ranks.
Corbyn's aides say as many as 90 Labour MPs could back the government and with both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Liberal Democrats backing action, Cameron is expected to win parliamentary approval for the UK to intervene militarily in the four-year-old conflict in Syria.
A vote is expected later in the day.