© AP Photo/ Parliamentary Recording Unit via Associated Press
Updated 8:46 p.m. Moscow Time
LONDON, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – The British parliament voted on Friday in favor of UK airstrikes against ISIL (Islamic State) militants in Iraq as part of the international effort to curb the advance of the fundamentalist group across the Middle East.
A total of 524 lawmakers in the House of Commons voted ‘yes’ while only 43 were against the decision. The motion need at least 481 votes in support to be passed.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier Friday that the Islamic State group poses a serious threat to the country’s national interests as well as to the global security.
Britain is expected to join the United States, France and some Arab states in launching targeted strikes on the IS positions in Iraq where the radical Islamist group has already seized vast areas proclaiming a caliphate on the territories it controls, which include also parts of Syria.
A decision on UK military action in Syria is still on the table as it has to be requested by the Syrian government and approved by lawmakers in a separate vote, according to Cameron.
The rapid advance of the extremists have prompted the United States to establish a multinational coalition to fight against the IS. The coalition currently numbers some 40 countries.
Washington has already carried out over 200 airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly taken part in the most recent attacks.
Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado jets positioned in Cyprus are ready to attack the IS targets in Iraq as soon as tonight, the Guardian reported.
According to a recent poll by YouGov, 57 percent of British citizens speak in favor of RAF airstrikes in Iraq.
YouGov also found that 62 percent of British people approve of US airstrikes against militants in Syria, despite the ambiguous legality of such in the absence of a formal request from the Syrian government.