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Why were the British so apparently hesitant about joining the fight against Islamic State? The British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 26 to join the American-led air campaign against Islamic State in Iraq. But the motion did not authorize action against targets in Syria.

Prime Minister David Cameron made it clear to the House that the government had no intention of sending British ground forces to Iraq other than in an advisory or training capacity. Except in a humanitarian crisis calling for an immediate response, Parliament would, he declared, be consulted before any action was taken against targets in Syria.

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