Sturgeon 'Deeply Troubled' By Air Strikes

3 December 2015, 13:30

The First Minister has said she remains "deeply troubled'' by Britain carrying out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Just an hour after Wednesday's Commons vote authorising military action, the first Tornado fighter bombers were in the air heading for an IS-controlled oil field in the eastern part of the country.

Two more Tornados and six Typhoons have now taken off from their bases in the UK heading for RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus, where the British strike force attacking IS - also referred to as Isil, Isis or Daesh - is based.

Nicola Sturgeon said her thoughts and good wishes are with the UK service personnel involved in the attacks, but she also continued to make her opposition to military action clear.

Ms Sturgeon, speaking at the start of First Minister's Questions at Holyrood, told MSPs: "I am sure we are all mindful that British service personnel, many of them based at Lossiemouth, are now in action over Syria.

"Not withstanding my opposition to this action, my thoughts and my good wishes are very much with them at this time.''

But she added: "I remain deeply troubled by the decision of the UK Government to take the country into conflict with no strategy, no exit plan and against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Scotland's MPs.''

Only two Scottish MPs - Conservative Scottish Secretary David Mundell and his Liberal Democrat predecessor Alistair Carmichael - backed the action, with SNP MPs voting against it.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she too is opposed to the air strikes.

She said: "Like the First Minister, I did not support extending air strikes into Syria. However with British forces now involved we must come together to support the brave men and women in our armed forces.''

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson expressed her "gratitude to the brave service personnel who will be involved in this necessary military action in Syria''.

She added: "As too often before, their selfless efforts abroad do all ensure and help keep us living safely at home.''