DEFENCE – BRITAIN AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY – 2 July 2015
Dr Julian Lewis: In 2013, the Government wanted to remove Assad without helping al-Qaeda or similar groups that later became Daesh. Now we apparently want to remove Daesh but without helping Assad. Those two things are incompatible. It is a choice of two evils. Which does my right hon. Friend think is the lesser of those two evils?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon): We do not want to give any succour to Assad. I do not think that anybody in this House wants the Assad regime to continue for a day longer than is necessary; we want Assad to go. But we are equally clear that ISIL operations in Iraq and elsewhere, probably including Libya, are being directed from northern Syria. We already have American air strikes being carried out in northern Syria and air strikes being carried out from other Gulf countries. We have air strikes being carried out by Canadian aircraft that are helping to keep our streets safe as well.]
[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]