Iraq crisis
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters drive a truck with a machine gun mounted on the back as they head to the Mosul dam on the Tigris river that they recaptured from Islamic State jihadistsAHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

British troops and surveillance flights are being mobilised in northern region of Iraq as Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced anti-terror operations in the strife-torn country could linger for "weeks and months".

The RAF aircraft have been flying reconnaissance missions in order to monitor the movements of the Islamic State militants.

Fallon, who was on a visit to the British base RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, said: "There may well now be in the next few weeks and months other ways that we may need to help save life [and] protect people and we are going to need all of you again and the surveillance you are able to give us."

The 2nd Battalion Yorkshire regiment has already been deployed in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, in anticipation of the arrival of Chinook helicopters for rescue measures.

"We want to help the new government of Iraq and Kurdish forces. We want to help them stop the advance of IS [Islamic State] and stop them from being terrorised. This is not simply a humanitarian mission. We and other countries in Europe are determined to do what we can to help the government of Iraq combat this new and very extreme form of terrorism that IS is promoting," said the defence secretary.

The RAF has dispatched the Rivet Joint surveillance flight along with the Tornado bombers to monitor the situation.

The latest measures has come day after Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that the Sunni extremists, once referred as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), could pose a serious threat targeting the "streets of Britain" in the future.