Iraq and US airstrikes
Downing Street rules out Britain's participation in US airstrikes in IraqReuters

Downing Street has ruled out Britain's direct involvement in the US-authorised military action in Iraq against the Sunni insurgents of Islamic State.

A No 10 spokesperson announced even though the Cameron government supports Washington's decision politically, Britain will not be participating in the military intervention.

"We welcome the action taken by the United States overnight to provide vital supplies to those Iraqis in desperate need who are fleeing from Isis [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terrorists. [But] we are not planning a military intervention," said the spokesperson.

The remarks follow US President Barack Obama's authorisation of US airstrikes in Iraq to stop the advancing militants as well as to prevent a "genocide".

The militants have captured key territories in northern Iraq as thousands of civilians continue to flee the fighting.

Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is also poised to hold an emergency Cobra meeting in order to address the situation in Iraq.

The Downing Street spokesperson said: "It is essential that those trapped are now allowed to reach a place of safety where they can continue to be provided with food, water and life-saving assistance and it is appalling that Isis are preventing them from doing so. Isis have a poisonous record of destruction and murder of innocent people of all faiths, including their own."