Syria strikes: Nicola Sturgeon willing ‘to listen’ to argument

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “prepared to listen” to the case for extending air strikes against so-called Islamic State from Iraq into Syria.

Scotland’s first minister said it would be “irresponsible” not to consider arguments made for doing so by PM David Cameron, following the Paris attacks.

But she said she was “not yet convinced” the case had been made.

The position of the SNP’s 55 MPs on the issue could be crucial if the PM pushes for a vote in the Commons.

Downing Street says there is still no timetable for a vote on extending UK military action but it is thought it could happen before Christmas.

The SNP unanimously opposed UK military action in Syria at its conference in Aberdeen last month.

Renewed diplomacy

At the time, Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor as party leader and first minister, Alex Salmond, said that British air strikes against IS – also known as Isil and Isis – would only add to human suffering in Syria.

Mr Salmond was cheered by delegates at the conference as he said there should be “no more futile military interventions by the UK”, with the party instead calling for renewed diplomacy to resolve the conflict.


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