David Cameron supports US air strikes on Iraq
Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed President Barack Obama's decision to authorise air strikes on Islamic militants Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, but has ruled out a British military response.
He said in a statement today that he was particularly concerned about the minority Yazidi community trapped on Mount Sinjar, adding that the world had a responsibility to help them "in their hour of desperate need".
"I fully agree with the President that we should stand up for the values we believe in – the right to freedom and dignity, whatever your religious beliefs," he said.
Cameron has asked officials to investigate options for sending relief – especially to the 40,000 people trapped on Mount Sinjar, who are at risk of dying of thirst. However a spokesman ruled out any possibility of the UK joining the US in air strikes.
The UK chaired a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last night, planning possible international measures to help those suffering under IS.
President Obama's decision came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for an international response to the crisis.
Obama said strikes would be used "if necessary" in order to "prevent a potential act of genocide" against the Yazidi community.