MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron signaled that he would push ahead with plans for a vote in the British parliament to approve military action against Islamic State militants in Syria, The Daily Telegraph newspaper said.
Cameron was quoted as saying that British military attacks in Syria “may well become possible.” Previously, Cameron has said he sees a strong case for extending British air strikes to Syria from Iraq.
Cameron lost a parliamentary vote on the use of force in Syria in 2013. Consequently, British bombing so far has only targeted Islamic State in neighboring Iraq.
The newspaper said Cameron does not believe Russian military involvement in the Syrian civil war should prevent Britain’s attempt to strike at Islamic State.
“What I am clear about is one of the biggest threats we have to respond to is that terrorist threat,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper on the eve of the annual conference of his ruling Conservative Party in the northern English city of Manchester.
In a move that is likely to please many in his party, he said he would “beef up” Britain’s elite Special Air Service regiment (SAS) and buy 20 new drones – known as Protectors - as part of the battle with Islamic State militants, the newspaper said.
After revealing last month that Britain had killed two of its own nationals who had been fighting for Islamic State in Syria, Cameron indicated that British militants in Syria will be targeted by drones as a “last resort”, the newspaper said.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton