US allies pledge support for Iraq, but no military action
Published on Aug 8, 2014 8:37 PM
PARIS (AFP) - As US President Barack Obama ordered his warplanes back to Iraq to prevent a potential genocide, Western allies appeared more reticent, limiting their contribution to promises of humanitarian aid and expressions of diplomatic outrage.
Responding to a UN Security Council plea for the international community to help Iraq cope with a flood of refugees prompted by a jihadist offensive, Obama said the United States could strike Islamic State (IS) militants if they advance on Arbil, where Washington has a diplomatic presence.
A US defence official confirmed that planes had already dropped "critical meals and water for thousands of Iraqi citizens" and vowed further drops if needed.
But just hours after Obama pledged potential military strikes, Britain, which joined the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, moved swiftly to rule out a military intervention of its own.
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