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18 Nov, 2015 18:15

UK military action in Syria will be 'legal' without UNSC resolution - PM Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that "any action" his country might take in Syria is "legal" even without a UN Security Council resolution.

"It is always preferable in these circumstances to have the full backing of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but I have to say what matters most of all is that any action we would take would... be legal," Cameron said while speaking at the House of Commons. He added that such action "would help protect” the UK.

The prime minister has long been trying to get approval to extend UK military action to Syria, with London already involved in airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in Iraq. Parliament rejected a vote to extend the bombing campaign to Syria in 2013.

READ MORE: Will British MPs vote to bomb Syria? Cameron, Corbyn diverge on Paris attack response

Earlier this week, Cameron said he needed "to convince more people" to back the intervention. Speaking to the BBC, he argued that IS "don't recognize a border between Iraq and Syria, and neither should we."

Wednesday's statement, which shows the PM is ready to go ahead with the military campaign without UN approval, has already raised concerns among some British politicians. One MP said "it sounded like Blair in Iraq all over again," RT's Polly Boiko reported from London.

The prime minister argues that Russia's potential veto at the UNSC might threaten his people's security, with such a ban not allowing Britain to take action against the jihadists in Syria.

"Russia has different aims to us and they have repeatedly threatened to veto any such resolution," he told Parliament.  

Moscow has consistently stated that any military action in foreign countries should only be based on legal grounds - by either being approved by the UN, or conducted under the invitation of the third country's government - in this case Syria.

Russia has been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria for some six weeks now, having been asked to help defeat the terrorists by the country's president, Bashar Assad. Cameron has previously said the Russian anti-terror operation in the region is "actually backing the butcher Assad and helping him, and really making the situation worse."

The results of the Vienna peace talks on Syria emphasized the political process is key to solving the crisis in the country - the stance Russia has long been trying to push forward. A ceasefire should eventually be applied in the region "parallel" to a political transition, but it would not apply to terror groups in the area, international leaders agreed in Vienna.

Those groups, including IS and Al-Nusra Front, "should become our common legitimate target, for us to fight and destroy them," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that it has been agreed that a new official list of terror groups should be drawn up for approval by the UNSC.

READ MORE: Vienna talks: New elections to be held in Syria within 18 months 

Following the deadly terror attacks on a Russian passenger plane over Egypt's Sinai and Friday's coordinated massacre in Paris - both tragedies considered to be staged by IS – military efforts against the Islamists in Syria have been intensified.

"The act of terror over Sinai was an attack on Russian citizens, which amounts to an attack on the Russian state. We will exercise our right to self-defense by all means possible - political, military and through national security services," Lavrov said.

This week, France agreed to coordinate its military operations in Syria with Russia, while US President Barack Obama stated he would also welcome cooperation with Moscow in order to fight terrorists.

Meanwhile, David Cameron announced a new funding proposal which will be officially published next week in the UK’s five-year defense and security review. Cameron said he would double the aviation security budget and add nearly 2,000 new intelligence and security officers to MI6, MI5 and GCHQ.