07:09 GMT19 September 2020
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    Edward Leigh, the chairman of a cross-party working group on relations with Russia in the British Parliament told Sputnik that limited British airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadist group targets, carried out by only four jets, are a symbolic gesture of solidarity to the US-led anti-IS coalition.

    LONDON (Sputnik) – Limited British airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) jihadist group targets, carried out by only four jets, are a symbolic gesture of solidarity to the US-led anti-IS coalition, and make no difference in the anti-terror campaign, the chairman of a cross-party working group on relations with Russia in the British Parliament told Sputnik.

    British lawmakers voted in favor of expanding the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) anti-IS campaign in Iraq to Syria on December 2. RAF combat jets have since carried out a handful of airstrikes in the Arab republic, the latest in the end of January. The IS terrorist group is prohibited in numerous countries including Russia and the United States.

    "Honestly, we only have four planes; I do not suppose that four planes could make a huge difference. This country [Syria] has been already bombed repeatedly so I think with our operation in Syria we are trying to show solidarity," Edward Leigh said.

    Leigh placed military efforts against IS below attempts to get the Syrian government, Russia, the United States and other powers to "work together with respectable opposition groups."

    Suggestions that last month's vote to approve airstrikes in Syria had more to do with politics are highlighted by reports that RAF jets are significantly more active in neighboring Iraq, where ground forces are regaining land from Daesh with British air cover.

    Setting out a case in favor of airstrikes in Syria ahead of the parliamentary vote, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that RAF jets would make a "meaningful difference" in the anti-IS campaign in the Arab republic.


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    United Kingdom, bombing, Syrian conflict, fighter jet, air strikes, military operation, British Royal Air Force, Edward Leigh, David Cameron, Europe
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