The Foreign Affairs Committee has warned David Cameron not to push ahead with a vote on launching air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

The influential commons committee, which is led by a Conservative majority, raised concerns about the legality of UK air strikes in Syria and urged the prime minister to focus on diplomatic tactics to end the civil war in the country.

In their report, the committee said:

“We believe that there should be no extension of British military action into Syria unless there is a coherent international strategy that has a realistic chance of defeating ISIL and of ending the civil war in Syria. In the absence of such a strategy, taking action to meet the desire to do something is still incoherent.

“We consider that the focus on the extension of airstrikes against ISIL in Syria is a distraction from the much bigger and more important task of finding a resolution to the conflict in Syria and thereby removing one of the main facilitators of ISIL’s rise.”

A number of newspapers report that Cameron lacks MPs’ support for joining the US-led coalition air strikes against the Islamic State, but Downing Street has dismissed these claims as “nonsense”.

In 2013, Cameron lost a vote in the Commons on possible military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by 285-272.

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