The Prime Minister has not ruled out air strikes in Syria against Islamic State (IS) militants, his spokesman confirmed yesterday.
The intervention came after foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the UK would definitely not be taking part in any military air action in the country.
Speaking in Berlin, Hammond said: “Britain will not be taking part in any air strikes in Syria. We have already had that discussion in our parliament last year and we won’t be revisiting that position.”
But soon after, David Cameron’s spokesman overruled Hammond, saying the Prime Minister had not ruled anything out when it comes to action against IS aggression in the Middle East.
The admission came as US President Barack Obama said America would seek to “degrade and destroy” IS in Syria with a series of targeted air strikes.
The policy has been broadly welcomed by Number 10, with a spokesman calling it “tough, long-term and intelligent”.
The British government has been clear in its condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad in recent weeks. Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “The Assad regime is committing atrocities against its own people. We do not consider the Assad regime to be legitimate.”
He added that the UK would continue to work in unity with the US and other states in tackling IS.
Last week, Conservative whips began canvassing opinion among MPs to see how many would support air strikes in Iraq and Syria.