Long: ISIL pose significant threat to Middle East and beyond

Alliance MP Naomi Long has supported government plans to launch airstrikes against ISIL, at a recalled session of Parliament on Friday.

The East Belfast MP – who previously voted against airstrikes in Syria – said the UK was now obligated to act after its misguided intervention in Iraq, adding ISIL now posed a significant threat to the Middle East and beyond.

Naomi Long MP said: “ISIL has shown it will not be deterred from putting the lives of many at risk, and that their reach now extends far beyond Iraq.

“For those who question why we must strike back, the answer is we are already involved. Some members of ISIL are UK citizens and our previous misguided intervention in Iraq means we now have a moral obligation to act. The Iraqi Government has specifically asked for UK intervention as part of a wider coalition and we must accept the role we have to play, alongside western and Middle Eastern Governments.

“Add to this our international obligations to prevent mass genocide against Christians, Kurds and other minorities and this action is the only logical short term action – but it must be only that.

“Airstrikes alone are not a solution and must be used in support of humanitarian and political assistance in Iraq and the rest of the region. But in this case they are, regrettably, required to prevent ISIL continuing to slaughter civilians in Northern Iraq and expanding their base, further destabilising the region.”

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