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David Cameron has revealed that "detailed plans" are being put in place for Britain to help rescue stranded Yazidi refugees in Iraq.
The Prime Minister returned to the UK to chair a Cobra meeting today on the situation in Iraq, as pressure grows for a stronger line to be taken on the crisis.
Speaking after the meeting, the Prime Minister continued to resist calls to let MPs debate military intervention in the Commons. "I don’t think it is necessary to recall parliament," he said.
But he said that Britain would be involved in an international mission to rescue thousands of stranded refugees.
"We need a plan to get these people off that mountain and get them to a place of safety and I can confirm that detailed plans are now being put in place and are underway and that Britain will play a role in delivering them," he said.
The Prime Minister said he could not disclose full details of the mission at this stage, but that "Britain will play a role with British planes and British aid helping to keep these people alive in a really desperate situation".
The action plan comes after International Development Secretary Justine Greening this morning said a third round of aid drops to Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq had been successful.
But ministers are facing calls to adopt a tougher stance in Iraq. Former defence secretary Liam Fox today joined senior former defence figures in urging the Government to step up its involvement as the country continues to battle an insurgency by Islamist militants.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Dr Fox said Western politicians had been guilty of "wishful thinking at best, and catastrophic complacency at worst" over the threat posed by the Islamic State, and urged military action.
Mr Cameron today insisted that the Government was right to focus on aid, rather than military intervention. "I think the first thing is to deal with this desperate humanitarian situation with people who are exposed, starving, dying of thirst on this mountain side, getting them to a place of safety," he said.
But he also said Britain would play a role in ensuring that the necessary weapons and ammunition were provided to the Kurds. The Prime Minister maintained: "In terms of the ammunition they are getting, Britain is going to be playing a role in helping to get that to them."
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13/08/2014 on BBC News
13/08/2014 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
13/08/2014 on Pooled clip
13/08/2014 on Sky News
13/08/2014 on Sky News
13/08/2014 on PM, BBC Radio 4
13/08/2014 on Newsnight, BBC Two
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
1 hour ago on Today, BBC Radio 4
18/12/2014 on Newsnight, BBC Two
18/12/2014 on Pool clip