Britain Rules out Military Intervention in Iraq Crisis
    2014-06-17 06:46:01     Xinhua       Web Editor: Mao

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday ruled out the possibility of British military intervention in the on-going Iraq crisis, but pledged to offer counter-terrorism expertise and humanitarian aid to the country instead.

"We have made it clear that this does not involve planning a military intervention by the United Kingdom," Hague told the British parliament in an oral statement.

He said that Britain is taking action in three areas in response to the on-going crisis in Iraq, including promoting political unity in the country, offering assistance where appropriate and possible; and alleviating humanitarian suffering.

"We are discussing with the Iraqi government areas for co-operation, including the possibility of offering counter-terrorism expertise," the foreign secretary said, warning that the rise of sectarianism and religious intolerance is fuelling instability in the Middle East.

Hague said he had underlined to the Iraqi foreign minister the need to form a new and inclusive government that brings together all Iraq's different groups and that is able to command support across Iraqi society.

British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has sent an operational liaison and reconnaissance team to Baghdad to help assess the situation on the ground and assist the British Embassy in contingency planning, he said.

Iraq's security situation has deteriorated since last week when bloody clashes broke out between the Iraqi security forces and the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)" militants.

The militants have seized several neighborhoods in the western part of the northern city of Mosul, and later expanded the battle to other areas and provinces after the Iraqi security forces withdrew from the city.

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