US, UK Should Back Assad to Defeat ISIL: Senior British MP

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US and Britain must work with Syrian President Bashar Assad if they want to defeat militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group, the chairman of Britain’s intelligence and security committee said.

US, UK Should Back Assad to Defeat ISIL: Senior British MP

The “ghastly” murder of American journalist, James Foley, highlights the urgent need to take action against the extremist group ISIL (also known as ISIS), whose swift rise to power in the Middle East has remained largely unchecked by Western intervention, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, one of the UK’s most senior MPs, told the Financial Times (FT).

“(ISIL) needs to be eliminated and we should not be squeamish about how we do it,” Sir Malcolm said.

Sir Malcolm was previously one of the most outspoken members of parliament in calling for the UK to intervene with military force against Assad’s government.

“We have to deal with facts on the ground, not as we would want them to be but as they are,” Sir Malcolm said, acknowledging that it was a deeply unpalatable choice. He likened the need to work with Assad to the way in which the allied powers worked with Joseph Stalin in the World War II.

“The idea that we can have a military operation in Iraq that won’t have a Syrian dimension is inconceivable. For Syria to become an ISIL safe haven – that is ludicrous . . . I don’t see how we can avoid it.”


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