European Council

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 19th October 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:40 pm, 19th October 2015

My hon. Friend will be aware from my figures that 85% of the targets that Russia has attacked have not been ISIL targets. It is quite easy to tell that by looking at the parts of the country where the Russians have been attacking—ISIL are not in those parts of the country, but the Free Syrian Army and others are. It is true to say that some six days of Russian air strikes went by before a single ISIL target was attacked. The case that we have to make is that Russia, like us, is at risk of Islamist extremist violence. Indeed, in many ways, it is more at risk. Russia has a large Muslim population, principally a Sunni Muslim population. The fact that they are if anything helping ISIL by bombing the moderate opposition to Assad demonstrates that, at the moment, they are both on the side of the butcher Assad and also helping ISIL potentially to take territory as Syrian opposition groups that are not ISIL are attacked by the Russians. It is the wrong approach and we need to do everything we can to persuade them of that.