Paris horror attacks could be a game-changer for RAF operations

Typhoons from Lossiemouth recently operating over the Baltic States - now they could be used alongside Russian forces.
Typhoons from Lossiemouth recently operating over the Baltic States – now the prospect is opening that they could be deployed alongside Russian forces.

THE HORRIFIC ATTACKS in Paris has increased pressure on UK political leaders who have thus far resisted giving their backing to the RAF joining air operations in Syria.

So far Moray-based RAF jets have had minimal involvement in attacks against IS – that could, however, change in the aftermath of Friday’s atrocities in which 129 people died and hundreds suffered serious injuries.

As one Moray resident flew a French flag high over his Elgin home in a show of support for the French people, France has already reacted with a show of force by joining US and Russian air forces in attacks on IS strongholds in Syria.

Meanwhile UK Prime Minister David Cameron, while drawing short of ordering RAF fighters into the area without cross-party support at Westminster, has given his strongest indication yet that is a position that might change – and with any such change comes the prospect of Moray-based airmen becoming involved.

Currently in Turkey attending the G20 summit, Mr Cameron said: “It is becoming even more clear that our safety and security depends on degrading and ultimately destroying Isil whether it is in Iraq or Syria.

“We are playing a huge role in that already in Iraq – others are taking action in Syria, which we support and enable, but we have got to keep on making the case that we will be safer in the UK, in France, right across Europe if we destroy this death cult once and for all.”

The prospect of RAF aircraft flying alongside those of Russia as allies in a common cause, a situation seeming to be highly unlikely, is apparently increasing with Mr Cameron adding: “We have our differences with the Russians, not least because they have done so much to degrade the non-Isil opposition to Assad in Syria.

“But the conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say ‘Look, there is one thing we agree about which is we would be safer in Britain if we destroy Isil – and that is what we should be focussing on.”

Meanwhile people in Moray have been demonstrating their support for the French people in any way they can – with many using social media to express their disgust at the latest atrocity against innocent civilians going about their daily lives.

Moray man Michael Green made a more visible show of support by raising the French flag high over his home alongside the A96 in Elgin – “this is my way of saying that I am with them,” Mr Green explained.

In churches around the region parishioners said prayers for the dead and injured while the Monks at Pluscarden Abbey dedicated their prayers to all those affected by the attacks.