Iraq crisis: David Cameron echoes President Obama pledge to stop 'genocide'

Downing Street said the Prime Minister 'welcomed US aid efforts' and is 'keen to work with the Americans on the humanitarian effort'

David Cameron joined with Barack Obama yesterday in committing the two countries to stopping "genocide" in Iraq, as the first consignment of UK emergency aid left RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The Prime Minister and the US President discussed by telephone planned air drops of drinking water and other essential supplies to refugees around the Sinjar mountains, where thousands from the Yazidi minority religious group have been trapped for a week.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister welcomed the US efforts and made clear that we are keen to work with the Americans on the humanitarian effort.

"They agreed that the immediate priority is to get vital supplies to those trapped on Mount Sinjar and the UK will join the US in delivering aid drops.

"Both leaders also agreed that aid drops are not a long-term solution, and that a way must be found to get these people to safety and to avert a genocide."

Britain has ruled out military action at this stage. Instead, the Government announced an £8m package of aid, including reusable filtration containers, tents and solar lights, which can also recharge mobile phones.

Some £3m will go to charities and NGOs already on the ground and helping displaced people in northern Iraq, and £2.5m will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Supplies including drinking water and tents are due to be dropped from two RAF C130 aircraft, which flew out of Britain yesterday afternoon.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra committee, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "We can expect a continuing drumbeat of air-drop operations working in co-ordination with the US and, potentially, with others as well."

He added that any new Iraqi administration must be prepared to lead the fight against jihadists such as the militants of Isis.

"We are waiting, all of us are waiting, for a new Iraqi government to form which will then have to take the lead in responding to the challenge that Isis is posing to the integrity of the Iraqi state," Mr Hammond said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935