UK rules out military action in Iraq

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday welcomed President Obama's authorization of targeted airstrikes in Iraq, but his office ruled out similar action. 

A spokesman for the prime minister told Agence France-Presse the country is "not planning a military intervention."


Cameron said he asked officials what more his country could do to help civilians in Iraq, including providing food, water and shelter. 

"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," he said in a statement. 

He added that he agrees with Obama that nations are obligated to stand up for the "right to freedom and dignity, whatever your religious beliefs."

In a late-night statement from the White House, Obama said he authorized airstrikes on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sometimes called ISIL. However, no strike had yet been carried out. 

Obama also announced U.S. military planes had dropped humanitarian supplies to help the thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority who have been stranded near Mount Sinjar, fleeing violence from ISIS. 

The Pentagon said it is prepared to use targeted airstrikes help push back ISIS forces to protect civilians. It also said it could use airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel if ISIS attempts to approach the Kurdish capital of Erbil. 

"I am extremely concerned by the appalling situation in Iraq and the desperate situation facing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis," Cameron said in his statement. "And I utterly condemn the barbaric attacks being waged by ISIL terrorists across the region."