Skip to main content

ISIL: Iraq

Volume 602: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2015

Since operations by the global coalition began last year, ISIL has lost more than 30% of the territory it once controlled in Iraq. Most recently, Kurdish forces retook Sinjar, and Iraqi security forces have taken Baiji and are preparing to take Ramadi. Slowly but surely, ISIL is being pushed back, and I am confident that it will be driven out of Iraq in time.

As chair of the all-party group on Islamo- phobia, I do wish we would formally refer to these people as Daesh. As they are steadily pushed back in Iraq, does my right hon. Friend agree that cutting their supply lines with Syria will hasten its defeat and, importantly, bring about the restoration of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. Of course, the retaking of Sinjar is a very important step in that, as it sits astride the most important supply route from Raqqa into Iraq. Ultimately, we need not just to cut the supply lines, but to go to the heart and the head of the beast in Raqqa.

Does the Secretary of State regard Turkey as a reliable ally in the battle against ISIL, given that not only has it today shot down a Russian jet, even though the Russians are also trying to fight ISIL, but it is buying oil from ISIL to prop it up and it is bombing the Kurds, who are also fighting ISIL? This Syrian engagement is an almighty mess.

I see that old habits die hard, and that the hon. Gentleman remains an apologist for Russian actions. Turkey is an important NATO ally. It holds the key to a number of really very important questions, both in relation to the battle against ISIL and to the migration challenge that Europe faces, and it will remain a very important partner for this country and for the European Union.