Britain sees no early demand from US for air strikes in Syria

October 13, 2014 20:54
1 minute read.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday he saw no immediate demand from the US and its Gulf allies for Britain to extend its air strikes in Islamic State (IS) fighters to Syria.

Britain's parliament approved air strikes against IS in Iraq by a decisive margin last month but is far from united about the need to extend them to Syria.

Hammond, speaking to Reuters on a visit to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said he did not rule out Britain joining the United States in striking IS targets in Syria but did not expect any early requests to do so.

"I don't see an imminent demand for that," he said. "My understanding is that the U.S. is satisfied that it has the firepower it needs in Syria at the moment.

He added: "Of course none of us knows how this campaign is going to evolve but at the moment I think the arrangement now where we are focusing on targets in Iraq and the U.S. and Gulf partners are focusing on Syria is working well."

The United States and five Arab allies began bombing IS positions in Syria last month. The United States has been carrying out strikes in Iraq since early August.

The group has seized vast areas of Syria and Iraq and is accused of massacres and beheadings of civilians and soldiers.

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