Britain's opposition Labor split on Syria air strikes

September 20, 2015 15:21
1 minute read.

LONDON - Britain's new opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a revolt over air strikes on Syria, nine days after the left-winger was elected on a platform that opposed military intervention in the region.

Half of Corbyn's top team of ministers-in-waiting were prepared to back a call from Prime Minister David Cameron to sanction bombing against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Sunday Times said.

The government said last week it would try to reach a consensus on extending British involvement in coalition air strikes against IS from Iraq to Syria.

Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn said on Sunday the party would examine any proposals to try to bring an end to the fighting.

"We have said consistently if the government has a proposition, we need to look at what it is: What is the target, the objective? What is the legal base? What is the view of nations in the region, including the government of Iraq?," he said on BBC TV's Andrew Marr show.

Benn sidestepped a question on endorsing air strikes, saying a broad approach was needed to resolve the conflict, including more humanitarian aid and a push for a political settlement.

A member of the shadow cabinet top team told the Sunday Times that half of the group were prepared to back bombing IS targets if Cameron presented a coherent strategy.

Four out of Labor's five foreign affairs team were expected to support further military action, including Benn, the newspaper said.

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