Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, makes a statement to the media on the killing of British aid worker David Haines in Downing Street, central London, Sunday Sept. 14, 2014. (AP/PA, John Stillwell)
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Britain on Sunday resisted pressure to join the United States in announcing airstrikes against ISIS after the militant group beheaded David Haines, a British hostage.Speaking after chairing a meeting of the government's emergency response committee in London, Prime Minister David Cameron said his government was battling ISIS on numerous fronts but was not, for now, launching airstrikes.Britain has in the past often been the first country to join U.S. military action overseas, but war-weary public opinion, parliament's rejection last year of airstrikes on Syria, and sensitivities surrounding Scotland's independence referendum Thursday mean Cameron is reticent this time round.Cameron outlined no plans to recall Parliament, which is in recess, in order to seek its authorization for airstrikes against ISIS, and people familiar with his thinking say he has no immediate plans to do so.Video footage of the murder of Haines by ISIS militants fighting in Iraq and Syria means Cameron, who is also trying to persuade Scotland to reject independence in Thursday's referendum, is under pressure to get much tougher with ISIS.Cameron, who returned to London ahead of schedule Saturday night to chair the emergency COBR meeting, called the murder of Haines, a 44 year-old Scottish aid worker, callous and brutal, hailing the murdered man as a "British hero".
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