BOMBING terrorist fanatics in Syria will help defend Islam from being hijacked by a ‘death cult’, David Cameron has told MPs.
The prime minister made the statement while opening a 10-and-a-half hour debate which will decide whether the UK will launch airstrikes targeting the ‘head of the snake’ in Raqqa.
The PM stressed Britain must answer the plea from its allies to defeat the ‘murderous regime’ as he moved to calling the terror group ‘Daesh’ because the fanatics find it ‘insulting’.
‘This evil death cult is neither a true representation of Islam nor a state,’ he said.
Mr Cameron argued a military intervention was needed to keep the UK safe, and said an attack was likely even if Britain opted out of airstrikes.
‘The House should be under no illusion: these terrorists are plotting to kill us, and to radicalise our children right now,’ he said.
These terrorists are plotting to kill us, and to radicalise our children right nowDavid Cameron, prime minister
‘They attack us because of who we are, not because of what we do.’
However, Labour, Lib Dem and SNP MPs have interrupted his speech on several occasions, calling on the PM to withdraw controversial comments made at a meeting of Tory MPs last night, in which he called those opposed to bombing action as ‘terrorist sympathisers’.
Mr Cameron refused to apologise but did say that he ‘respected’ the views of MP adding ‘either vote is an honourable vote’.
Continuing with his speech, the prime minster said: ‘We should answer the call from our allies, the action we propose is legal, necessary and the right thing to do to keep this country safe.
‘We should not put our own national security in the hands of others.
‘Isil have brutally murdered British hostages. They have inspired the worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches of Tunisia.
‘And they have plotted atrocity after atrocity on the streets here at home.
‘Since November last year, our security services have foiled no fewer than seven different plots against our people. So this threat is very real.
‘The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people.
‘Or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called the PM’s plea an ‘ill thought-out rush for war’.
He opposed military action in Syrian and told MPs: ‘It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the prime minister understands public opposition to his ill thought-out rush to war is growing - and wants to hold the vote before it slips from his hands.
‘Whether it’s the lack of a strategy worth the name, the absence of credible ground troops, the missing diplomatic plan for a Syrian settlement, the failure to address the impact on the terrorist threat or the refugee crisis and civilian casualties.
‘It’s become increasingly clear that the prime minister’s proposals for military action simply do not stack up.’
The debate is expected to continue until about 10pm, when MPs will vote on whether or not the UK will join the bombing campaign in Syria.
Britain is already conducting airstrikes against Daesh in neighbouring Iraq.
Portsmouth warships have also been a key part of the fight against Islamist fanatics.
HMS Duncan returned home last week to the city after providing protection for an American aircraft carrier conducting bombing runs against the so-called Islamic State group in Syria.
The Type 45 destroyer’s sister ship, the Portsmouth-based HMS Defender is currently is the Middle East offering air cover for French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.