Officials from across Whitehall and representatives from the agencies met this morning to discuss the situation in Iraq.
ISIS terrorists continue to contest towns and villages south of Erbil and in the Sinjar area with Iraqi and Kurdish forces defending these areas, assisted by targeted US airstrikes. The humanitarian situation remains deeply worrying and consequently this continues to be our priority. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced across the region and in need of aid supplies. And thousands are still trapped on Mount Sinjar, although it is understood that some may have escaped off the mountain to the north.
The first UK aid drop took place over Mount Sinjar last night, with the RAF delivering bundles that included 1200 reusable water containers providing 6000 litres in total and 240 solar lanterns that can also be used to recharge mobile phones. We are working to step up these deliveries in the coming days. Meanwhile, we continue to engage with the US, Kurds, Turks and other international partners on how to get those trapped on the mountain to safety. And we are planning to increase the number of humanitarian advisers in Erbil to provide better links to the situation on the ground.
We continue to urge Iraqi political leaders to appoint a Prime Minister who can lead an inclusive government. This is vital to ensure that Iraqis themselves are able to co-ordinate the response across the country against ISIS, uniting all Iraqi communities against these evil terrorists.