The British air campaign will reportedly include eight Royal Air Force Tornado fighter jets which eventually can be supplemented with a number of Typhoon fighter jets. Especially the eventual deployment of the latter has been criticized because the Typhoon cannot carry the laser-guided Brimstone missiles in their payload.
Question about the UK’s participation in the US-led alliance against ISIS (ISIL / Daesh) in Syria have also raised a debate about the effectiveness of the US-led coalition’s campaign. The US-led coalition has, within one year, achieved less than the Russian – Syrian air campaign. Moreover, the US-led coalition has largely failed to target Daesh’s oil-smuggling infrastructure. A business that earns the self-proclaimed Islamic State an estimated 1.4 million US dollar per day. Ironically, ISIS’s oil is "laundered” via northern Iraq’s Kurdish region from where it is transported to Turkey and beyond.
The UK’s primary objective will reportedly be targeting Daesh in support of Kurdish – Syrian YPG troops. The YPG has, until recently, been aligned with the Syrian government, but has after western support increasingly implemented a policy that suggests that the YPG aims at an autonomous Kurdish region. While this development is consistent with Washington’s and London’s plans to create a "Kurdish Corridor”, Turkey does not particularly favor this part of its NATO allies long-term strategy.
The UK parliament’s decision comes against the backdrop of the US administration’s decision to deploy additional US special forces to northern Iraq and the statement that these forces could carry out unilateral operations inside Syria. US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the deployment was part of a strategy that aims at a political solution to the war in Syria by March, while reiterating that this settlement would include the precondition that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has to relinquish power.
Non of the airstrikes or ground operations in Syria by the US-led coalition have basis in international law. That is, non of the participating States act on an invitation from the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, and there is no UN Security Council resolution that would legalize their operations without an invitation. Neither the USA nor the UK have shown willingness to form a truly international coalition with participation of Russia and on a basis that is consistent with international law.