I am extremely concerned by the appalling situation in Iraq and the desperate situation facing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. And I utterly condemn the barbaric attacks being waged by ISIL terrorists across the region.
I am especially concerned for the minority Yazidi community now trapped on Mount Sinjar, where they have fled for their lives. They fear slaughter if they descend back down the slopes but face starvation and dehydration if they remain on the mountain. The world must help them in their hour of desperate need.
Last night, the UK chaired a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to ensure a strong international response to the crisis and this morning the Defence Secretary will chair a COBR on the issue. I have 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.
I welcome President Obama’s decision to accept the Iraqi government’s request for help and to conduct targeted US airstrikes, if necessary, to help Iraqi forces as they fight back against ISIL terrorists to free the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar. And 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.