Syria air strikes
Protesters participate in a 'die in' protest in Parliament Square ahead of the Syria air strikes vote Getty

Tens of thousands of people have signed an SNP petition urging the UK to not bomb Syria in the wake of MPs voting in favour of launching air strikes in the country. MPs voted 397 to 223 to support the motion to extend the UK's military action against Islamic State (Isis).

Among those who supported launching airstrikes in Syria were 66 Labour MPs, including senior shadow cabinet members Hillary Benn and Tom Watson, defying leader Jeremy Corbyn's opposition to the motion.

Those who did not support the motion included all 54 SNP MPs, with the party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson arguing the situation in Syria has already "spurred one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades" and there is "scant evidence" David Cameron's proposals will improve the lives of the Syrian people.

Following confirmation the motion to launch air strikes in Syria had been approved by MPs, the Scottish party started an online petition entitled "Don't Bomb Syria".

The petition states: "Despite all SNP MPs voting against air strikes on Syria, the House of Commons has agreed to back the UK Government's call for military action. The SNP believes that the UK should not repeat the mistakes of the past, and engage in military action without a comprehensive and credible plan to win the peace.

Just 12 hours from its launch, the petition had already been signed by more than 65,000 people.

Airstrike vote
A packed House of Commons at the start of the debate on whether to launch air strikes in Syria

The vote followed a 10-hour debate in the House of Commons in which several SNP members voiced their opposition to the motion. Alex Salmond, MP for Gordon, told the Commons: "The SNP has been demonstrated to be correct, not least in Iraq, in being cautious about military interventions. The difficulty is that once we get in, it is hugely difficult to get out."

He added: "I very much agree with the leader of the Labour party that, above all, we need to interrupt the financial resources of Daesh without which this evil cult could not function. Whenever I ask the prime minister about that, he tells me that he is sitting on a committee. For two years, we have heard nothing. Little or nothing has been done to interrupt the flow of funds and to identify and stop the financial institutions without which Daesh could not have lifted a finger against us or anyone else.

"We are being asked to intervene in a bloody civil war of huge complexity without an exit strategy and no reasonable means of saying that we are going to make a difference. We should not give the prime minister that permission."

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, described the vote as "one of the most significant decisions" the politicians will ever have to make. She added: "As well as thinking about our own security, we have thought about the security of the people of Syria. Although much of today's discussion has been about the government's motion, and the efficacy or otherwise of military action, there is another important perspective on this catastrophic situation — that of the people of Syria and those in the Middle East who have been so deeply and tragically affected by this conflict, and whether adding to the multiple countries already bombing Syria will help them, or indeed our security, at all."