[Image: AP.]

“Tighten the noose”? That’s over-optimistic, when the UK’s contribution to the fight against Daesh in Syria has yet to achieve anything at all.

Bombing an oil field that had already been destroyed by Russian and US planes certainly wasn’t a useful expenditure of our air crews’ time and public money.

It would be more accurate to say the UK is in Syria to create the next generation of terrorists, dedicated to attacking our way of life, in accordance with the well-established ‘cycle of hate’. The idea is to keep UK citizens afraid of terrorist attack well into the future.

It is sad that more than 60 Labour MPs supported the Parliamentary vote that launched the futile air strikes, rather than supporting their own leader’s much more useful proposal to choke off Daesh’s funding and supply of armaments. Why Hilary Benn still has his job is anybody’s guess; if it is really because 10 other shadow cabinet members threatened to quit if he was sacked, then those people need to examine their consciences.

MoD officials say there have been no civilian casualties linked to UK air strikes – but if you examine the wording they use, the claims fall apart. Here’s The Guardian, explaining:

“David Cameron told the Commons there had been “no reports of civilian casualties”, and the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, told the BBC: “Our estimate is that there hasn’t yet been a single civilian casualty because of the precision of their strikes.”

The key words are “no reports” and “our estimate”. Given there are few, if any, independent observers in Islamic State-held areas, it is hard to verify whether or not there have been civilian casualties. The RAF is depending on evidence based on high-resolution cameras.”

That is no reassurance at all.

Note that the BBC report makes no mention of these concerns.

We are being misled.

The coalition of countries fighting so-called Islamic State (IS) must focus on a “tightening of the noose” around its Syrian heartlands, UK defence minister Michael Fallon will say.

At a meeting of defence chiefs in Paris, Mr Fallon will call for more air strikes targeting IS infrastructure.

German, French and US defence ministers will be among those at the meeting on Wednesday, the first of its kind.

They are to discuss intensifying military operations in Iraq and Syria

Speaking ahead of the talks, Mr Fallon said the coalition aimed to “dismantle” IS’ “structure and capabilities”.

Source: Anti-IS coalition must ‘tighten noose’ in Syria – Michael Fallon – BBC News

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