CHANTS of "don't bomb Syria" echoed around central Oxford today when campaigners took to the streets to protest against launching further air strikes on the war-torn country.

More than a hundred people brandishing flags, placards and flyers braved the rain and icy wind  in Bonn Square to show their solidarity with the people of Syria.

Placards reading "stop the war", "peace" and "make tea not war" were held aloft while rainbow peace flags fluttered in the wind.

The rally - organised by the Oxford Branch of the Stop the War Coalition - was to protest Prime Minister David Cameron's calls to launch further air strikes in Syria.

Mr Cameron has called for Britain to back its French and American allies as they intensify bombing of the so-called 'Islamic State' (IS) terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

His speech to the House of Commons on Thursday comes on the back of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris where 130 people were killed across the French capital.

But Spanish and Arabic student Carolina Toso and friend Holly Dempster-Edwards said that dialogue not war was the way forward not war.

The 19-year-old Oxford University student said: "As a modern language student I think dialogue is the only way to solve this.

"These demonstrations show that normal people believe we have to stop this."

The small crowd made their voices heard with a variety of chants, including "Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation", "don't bomb Syria", and "cut war not welfare".

Speakers included county council Green group leader David Williams and Muslim leader and east Oxford Imam Dr Sheikh Ramzy.

But Mr Cameron’s calls for air strikes to help smash IS have been backed by Oxfordshire Conservative MPs as they rallied behind Witney MP Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron said on Thursday it was in Britain's national interest to join its American and French allies and called on the House of Commons to support him.

IS controls large swathes of territory across both states, but the Royal Air Force is only authorised to operate in Iraq – something military chiefs argue makes little sense as the terrorist group does not recognise the borders.

But the Prime Minister vowed not to bring forward a vote on the air strikes until he could be sure of a clear Commons majority.

Yesterday Wantage MP Ed Vaizey and Henley MP John Howell said they would back the Prime Minister.

Oxford West MP Nicola Blackwood said she was still "carefully considering" her decision, but Labour's Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, said the situation was "complex and dangerous" and that he was currently opposed.