Last year, I voted against taking military action in Syria because I was concerned that doing so could lead to all kinds of unforeseen consequences. We are now seeing that some of those fighting against Assad in Syria are intent on creating an extremist Islamic state encompassing other nations. In the areas of Syria and Iraq where an extremist Islamic state or IS have taken control, religious minorities face vicious persecution and death.
The sight of thousands of people forced from their homes and fleeing for their lives across barren mountains, many dying on the way, the fact that some of the atrocities being carried out have been done so by British subjects, and the wish of Islamic extremist Jihadis to impose their barbaric beliefs across many other nations has led me to believe that we should be willing to take concrete action to see them defeated. To begin with this has meant supplying equipment and training to the army in Iraqi Kurdistan – one of the only parts of Iraq which currently functions like a normal country. However, I would certainly not rule out giving further military support if it can be used to achieve specific goals – although I would like more details on what it would involve.
As a Christian, I abhor the taking of life, and as an ex-member of the TA (albeit with no first-hand experience of war), I do not take lightly support for military action. However, I believe that IS not only pose a threat to innocent Christians, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the areas they control, but they will pose a threat to the safety of millions of others if they are not dealt with quickly.