MPs support UK air strikes against IS in Iraq
The UK Parliament has backed British participation in air strikes against Islamic State extremists in Iraq.
After a seven-hour debate, MPs voted for military action by 524 votes to 43.
The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leaderships all backed air strikes although some MPs expressed concerns about where it would lead and the prospect of future engagement in Syria.
The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said RAF planes could be called into action as early as Sunday.
Speaking after the vote, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said a long campaign lay ahead and there would not be a "series of immediate hits".
'Brutal organisation'He told the BBC the priority would be to stop the "slaughter of civilians" in Iraq and the UK and its allies would continue to be guided by Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence in identifying targets.
About 24 Labour MPs are thought to have voted against air strikes and a number of Conservatives abstained or voted against action.
MPs vote to approve air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq by 524 votes to 43
Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that intervention at the request of the Iraqi government was "morally justified" to combat a "brutal terrorist organisation" and was clearly lawful.
He won support from Labour leader Ed Miliband who said inaction would lead to "more killing" in Iraq, large swathes of which are controlled by Islamic State.
But shadow education minister Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, resigned from the party's front bench in order to abstain in the vote.
Labour MP Iain McKenzie has been sacked as an aide to shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker for failing to back air strikes.
In other developments:
- [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] had been destroyed during the latest US raids in Syria
- Denmark and Belgium say they will contribute seven and six fighter plans respectively to the international coalition. The UK is contributing six Tornado strike aircraft.
- Speaking in a separate debate in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, supported action but called for "an ideological and religious" solution rather than a military one.
- [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] back RAF air strikes
Addressing MPs, Mr Cameron insisted Britain had a clear "duty" to join the campaign, saying IS was a direct threat to the UK and he was not prepared to "subcontract" the protection of British streets from terrorism to other countries' air forces.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said it was "impossible to reason with" Islamic State and the UK should not be "paralysed" by the legacy of the 2003 Iraq War.
Analysis by BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus
Six additional aircraft - RAF Tornadoes operating out of Cyprus - is hardly a massive deployment of air power, but the British role is nonetheless significant - both politically and militarily.
The key success of the US-led coalition is to have so many Arab states as active participants.
But western military contributions are also vital; with France, Australia and the Netherlands already on board, Britain adds another weighty player.
The RAF Tornadoes bring very advanced targeting capabilities but their significance to the ever growing coalition is also about sustainability.
So far - despite much misleading commentary in the press - this is a relatively low level air campaign.
The numbers of aircraft involved is not huge. But the problem for the coalition is to sustain their activities over time.
This campaign against Islamic State could potentially go on for years.
Each country's contribution (leaving aside the Americans) may be small, but together they make up a force that could continue operations almost indefinitely.
And Mr Miliband - who a year ago forced the prime minister to abandon plans for air strikes against the Syrian regime by inflicting a Commons revolt on the issue - said the UK "cannot simply stand by".
Speaking after the outcome of the vote, Labour MP John McDonnell - who voted against air strikes - said previous interventions in Iraq was one of the causes of the emergence of the jihadist movement.
"We seem to be making the same mistakes without any alternative strategy," he told BBC News.Failure to act in Iraq will make the situation even worse than the already "catastrophic consequences" of IS's advance there, Ed Miliband warned
The US began a series of air strikes in Iraq last month, and on Monday it began attacks on targets in Syria. Jets from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have joined US forces in the attacks, and the US says more than 40 countries have offered to join the anti-IS coalition.
The government has said it would seek separate Parliamentary approval for the extension of air strikes to Syria but reserved the right to act without consulting MPs in the event of a humanitarian emergency.
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