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British PM Cameron voices support for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq

On Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron applauded U.S. President Barack Obama for authorizing airstrikes "to help the Iraqi government tackle this crisis."

By JC Finley
British PM Cameron voices support for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron shake hands after Cameron's remarks during the official arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House In Washington DC on March 14, 2012. (UPI/Pat Benic) | License Photo

LONDON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his support on Friday for U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to authorize targeted airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

"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," Cameron said, adding, "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."

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On Thursday evening, Obama announced during a televised address from the White House that he had authorized the U.S. military to conduct targeted airstrikes in Iraq to stop advances by the Islamic State. He also announced humanitarian airdrops were underway to people trapped by IS militants on Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq.

Earlier this week, Islamic State militants attacked the northern town of Sinjar in Ninewa Province, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee and seek shelter on the nearby mountaintop. With militants encircling the base of the mountain and the trapped residents running low on food and water supplies, the security and humanitarian situation is dire.

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Cameron reiterated his support for Obama's humanitarian and military actions in Iraq in a brief Twitter posting.

A spokesman for the prime minister reportedly said the United Kingdom was "not planning a military intervention." However, the U.K. announced Friday it has committed an additional $13.4 million in humanitarian relief to Iraq.

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