SYRIANS in Oxford say they fear for innocent civilians in their country after Britain joined air strikes against Islamic State (IS) terrorists.

Abdullah Allabuani, who is in the city on a scholarship from Damascus, said last night he feared it would mean many more civilian deaths.

He said: “I don’t like any bombing of my country. The situation in Syria is so complicated now, and we need help.

“After the Paris terror attacks they bombed Raqqa for three hours; you cannot imagine how many civilians were killed and there was no strong impact against IS. I’m scared and afraid that this will hurt more of them. We have experienced air strikes and bombs for five years; the terrorists are not going to be defeated that way.”

Mr Allabuani, 30, is studying for a Master’s degree in architecture at Oxford Brookes University. He is expected to return to Syria in September.

He added: “I am expected to go back but have no idea what I’m going to do when I get there. Oxford is really nice but I don’t think I’ll find a job here.”

Abass Saidtaha, Oxford’s first Syrian refugee since the war began in 2011, said he was worried about innocent people in the country who can’t escape.

The 28-year-old arrived in Oxford last October after months of travelling through Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. While living in Aleppo he was shot in the chest.

Mr Saidtaha, whose brother Said, 23, joined him in the city last night, said: “I agree with the British government in Syria. IS are horrible and not just me as a Syrian, but the world, needs to punish them for their terrible things.

“But I’m also worried about the innocent children, women and old people who cannot escape from Syria.”

Four British Tornado jets hit seven targets in Syrian oilfields just hours after the Commons vote on Wednesday night to extend military action in Iraq to include Syria.

But before and since the vote, opponents and religious leaders in Oxford have warned that air strikes will only make the situation worse.

Nicola Blackwood, the Conservative representing Oxford West, voted in support of the Government.

But Labour’s Andrew Smith, the MP for Oxford East, said he could not do so without a “credible strategy in place”.

Speaking after the vote, he said: “The debate on air strikes was a full and serious one and there were some very good contributions from both sides.

“But the key concern for me is that there is not a credible strategy in place and I have had many hundreds of representations from constituents from this, most of them opposed.”

He also criticised Mr Cameron’s alleged remarks to Tory colleagues during a parliamentary party meeting, calling those voting against the strikes “terrorist sympathisers”.

He added: “It was an especially absolutely disgraceful remark to make. He should have apologised.”

The Prime Minister was challenged to take the comments back more than 12 times during the debate on Wednesday but failed to do so.

During the debate he said: “I respect people who disagree; I respect the fact that governments of all colours have had to fight terrorism; and I respect the fact that we are all discussing how to fight terrorism, not whether to fight terrorism.

He said: “The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and go after these terrorists in their heartlands, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”

But the motion to authorise air strikes was supported by all of Oxfordshire’s other MPs. Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage and a Minister of State, had previously said he would back the government and yesterday Henley MP John Howell said: “Voting last night was not easy, you cannot predict outcomes. But I know it was the right thing to do.”

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis, who also backed the strikes, said: “Throughout its history, the people of the United Kingdom have stood up to defend our values and our way of life. We can and must do so again.”

At a full meeting of Oxford City Council on Monday, councillors will debate a petition signed by almost 2,500 people asking it to shelter to refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

And on December 17 senior councillors will be asked to formally approve a scheme that will see 10 homes provided for resettled refugees in Oxford.