UK Foreign Secretary announces aid air drops to stranded Iraqis
Saturday, August 09, 2014 - 00:51
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announces that the UK, in coordination with the U.S., is air dropping aid to Iraqis stranded by the recent violence. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announced on Saturday (August 9) that British aircraft would drop humanitarian supplies to help Iraqis stranded by recent violence.
The first consignment of UK emergency aid was expected to leave "imminently", Hammond said.
Supplies including drinking water and tents are due to be dropped from C130 aircraft over the weekend to help members of the Yazidi religious minority, trapped on a mountainside in Sinjar, seeking shelter from Islamic State militants.
Hammond, who chaired a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee on Saturday afternoon to assess the crisis, said the UK was co-ordinating with the U.S. to provide humanitarian assistance.
"Well first of all, we remain deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq which is being caused by the number of people displaced by the fighting, but also by the extraordinarily cruel treatment of ISIS in the areas that they do control. Dfid (The Department for International Development) have announced an eight million pound aid package. We've now forward positioned UK humanitarian aid in the region and the RAF will start air dropping supplies imminently as part of a co-ordinated operation with the U.S., and we expect that to go on for the foreseeable future, dropping supplies to the people in particular who are trapped on the mountain in Sinjar," Hammond said.
Earlier this week, tens of thousands of Iraq's Yazidis were forced to flee the town of Sinjar, and rushed to the surrounding mountains to escape the advancing Islamic State militants.
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