Fierce exchanges between Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Prime Minister David Cameron foreshadow a full day of heated debate as British MPs prepare to vote on whether to extend airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Iraq into Syria.
Cameron last night echoed his October Conservative Party conference speech by branding Corbyn and others opposed to bombing Syria “a bunch of terrorist sympathizers.”
He made his comment in a speech to the influential Conservative 1922 Committee on Tuesday night, the Guardian claims.
By Wednesday morning, Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been wracked with internal conflict between the pro and anti-war camps, had sketched out his opposition in the Mirror newspaper.
“He has offered no clear strategy, no coherent coalition, no credible ground forces and no proper plan to defeat ISIS,” Corbyn wrote, while criticizing Britain’s bloody 15 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Given the current terror threat it is obvious that these wars have not achieved their aims.
“There is now a clear risk that extending UK bombing to Syria will threaten, rather than protect, our national security,” he added.
Corbyn’s shadow cabinet remains split. More striking is the gulf between the membership and the parliamentary party, with up to 75 percent of Labour rank and file opposed to bombing.
That opposition is also reflected in a public poll published in the Times newspaper on Wednesday.
The study carried out by YouGov estimates only 48 percent of Britons are in favor of bombing.
Activists and a smattering of military veterans gathered in Parliament Square on Tuesday night as part of a last-ditch Stop the War coalition protest to oppose the bombing.
The 5,000-strong protest marched past the two main party headquarters after hearing speeches from MPs, journalists and activists.
Former Labour and Respect MP and prospective London mayor George Galloway told the crowd the idea of a new war in the Middle East is so unpopular it “doesn’t even have the support of the Daily Mail.”
The mammoth debate will begin at 11:00 GMT and will continue until 22:00 before a vote.
This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.