Dodds signals DUP open to Syria action

Nigel Dodds
Nigel Dodds

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds has signialled the party may be willing to back government plans for military action against ISIS in Syria.

In August 2013, Mr Dodds had voted against military action in Syria targeting dictator Bashar al Assad (along with four DUP colleagues, plus three SDLP members, the Alliance’s Naomi Long, and independent unionist Sylvia Hermon).

At the time, he was quoted by the BBC as saying that “what it could do would be to lead to large-scale regional destabilisation, with further attacks by other major players like Iran, or whatever. It could make things a lot worse, more people could die.”

The north Belfast MP said on Sunday: “We have always said we can back British military force, provided it is realistic and in the national interest,” he said.

“The scene is set for our action being just that. It falls to David Cameron to show us that it will be. Not least, he will need to show that we will get right the things we got wrong in Libya.”

He added: “British force and British service personnel have to be employed only when doing so promises real results.

“I trust that the Prime Minister will set out this week how we will most effectively do this with like-minded powers. And I anticipate discussing this matter with him.”

A detailed case for escalating military intervention will be set out to the Commons this week by Prime Minister David Cameron in the wake of the murders of 130 people on the streets of Paris by the Islamist extremists.

Mr Cameron will visit the city on Monday for talks with president Francois Hollande.

Morning View: DUP is in a position of influence over the response to Syria