Cameron supports U.S. move in Iraq

August 08, 2014 06:49 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:44 pm IST - London

A file photo of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

A file photo of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the decision taken by the United States President Barrack Obama to authorise “targeted strikes” against the Islamic militant forces in Iraq, but has made no commitment thus far to commit British military forces in the country where a civil war rages.

“I welcome President Obama’s decision to accept the Iraqi government’s request for help and to conduct targeted U.S. airstrikes, if necessary, to help Iraqi forces as they fight back against ISIL terrorists to free the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar,” Mr. Cameron said in a statement issued on Friday morning.

He issued the statement in response to Mr. Obama’s announcement from the White House on Thursday that the U.S. would take “targeted military action” to prevent the “genocide” of the thousands of Christians who have taken refuge on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq, at the hands of Islamic militants who have threatened the Christians with death.

Condemning the “utterly barbaric” attacks by the ISIL on the Yazidi Christian minority who have fled to Mount Sinjar, and face starvation on the mountain and slaughter if they come down, Mr. Cameron said, “The world must help them in their hour of need.”

In his statement, Mr. Cameron said that he has “tasked officials to urgently establish what more we can do to provide help to those affected, including those in grave need of food, water and shelter in the Sinjar area.”

The U.K. chaired a meeting in the United Nations Security Council on Thursday seeking a strong international response to the crisis in Iraq.

On Friday Defense Secretary Michael Fallon will chair an emergency cabinet committee meeting on the situation in Iraq.

Mr. Cameron would need the concurrence of Parliament to take any decision on military intervention abroad.

A year ago his proposal to the House of Commons seeking approval for military action against Syria was roundly defeated, with many of his own party members of Parliament voting against it.

The armies of Islamic State have seized Qaraqosh, the biggest Christian centre in Iraq. They have reportedly also seized the country’s biggest hydro-electric power station near Mosul.

Britain’s main opposition party has also endorsed President Obama’s decision. Douglas Alexander, MP, and the Labour Party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary said: “President Obama was right to authorise limited air strikes to prevent the slaughter of these terrified and vulnerable people, and to support the humanitarian air drops of food and water.” He also called upon the U.K. government to provide “urgent humanitarian aid to help support Iraq’s people,” and provided limited counter-terror assistance to the Iraqi Government.

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