Cameron Seeks to Intensify U.K.’s Campaign Against Islamic State

David Cameron
U.K. prime minister David Cameron. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Prime Minister David Cameron said he wants the U.K. to take a bigger role in the struggle to destroy Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Cameron said his government is discussing how the U.K. can contribute more to international efforts to fight the group, which evolved from al-Qaeda in Iraq before expanding into Syria, where a civil war has raged for more than four years.

U.K. pilots have been embedded with other air forces that have carried out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria even though U.K. operations against the group were limited to Iraq in a vote in Parliament in September. Cameron said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was in discussions over ways the U.K. can increase its role in the campaign against the group in the region.

“I want Britain to do more,” Cameron said. “I will always have to take my Parliament with me. We are talking and discussing at the moment, including with the opposition parties in Britain, what more that we can do. But be in no doubt, we are committed to working with you to destroy the caliphate in both countries.”

In recognition that Islamic State’s influence is being felt inside the U.K. as well as in the conflict zones of the Middle East, Cameron will use a speech on Monday to warn young Britons against the temptation to travel abroad to join the group’s ranks.

‘Cannon Fodder’

British recruits will become “cannon fodder” for the movement, Cameron will say, according to excerpts of the speech released in advance.

“If you are a boy, they will brainwash you, strap bombs to your body and blow you up,” Cameron will say. “If you are a girl, they will enslave and abuse you.”

In his NBC interview carried on NBC’s website Sunday, Cameron was asked about last week’s deal between international powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for the easing of sanctions.

Cameron said the agreement was “a successful negotiation for the allies” and represented “a good deal done.”

“Fundamentally, this is the toughest set of proposals put in place and verification put in place and inspection put in place that I think we’ve seen in any of these sorts of negotiations,” Cameron said.

He was asked about criticisms of the agreement from parties including Israel.

“We want to see a change in the approach that Iran takes to issues like Syria and Yemen, and to terrorism in the region,” Cameron said. “So, we’re not starry eyed at all. And I’d reassure our Gulf allies about that. But actually taking the nuclear-weapon issue off the table, that is a success for America and Britain and our allies. And we should be clear about that.”

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