Philip Hammond: ‘no UK commitment to air strikes on Isis as yet’
Foreign secretary seeks to manage expectations with comments after talks between US and UK on action against Islamic State.
The foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, has tried to dampen the expectation of imminent air strikes by Britain against Islamic State (Isis), saying he knows of no plans being drawn up by the UK government. But he also insisted Britain would not be cowed from undertaking action if necessary, even if it represented a further threat to British hostages.
He said the UK had “made no commitment to take part in any air strikes as yet, but we certainly consider that a possibility if we think that it is the best and most effective way to support a credible and inclusive Iraqi government”.
His comments follow talks held on Thursday night between David Cameron, the prime minister, and the US president, Barack Obama, on military and political action against Isis. They agreed on a broad campaign that could start as soon as the country agreed a new government.
Speaking on Friday at the Nato summit, Cameron said: “An arc of instability bends from north Africa to the Middle East. Last night we discussed the threat posed by Isil in Iraq and Syria, so our message is clear: we are united in condemnation of these barbaric and despicable acts.”