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PM: Britain 'will not get involved in another Iraq war'

David Cameron has stressed that the UK "is not going get involved in another Iraq war" following the release of a video showing the murder of journalist James Foley.

"We are not putting combat troops, combat boots on the ground - that is not something we should do," he said.

The Prime Minister said the Government has "a clear strategy" on Iraq and that it will "stick to that strategy."

"This [is a] struggle against Islamist extremism - not a struggle of one religion against another - it's of all people and all religions, including Islam, against a poisonous extremism.," Cameron added.

Cameron calls US journalist's killing 'an act of murder'

David Cameron reiterated his condemnation of the "barbaric and brutal" killing of US journalist James Foley, calling it "an act of murder."

"Let's be clear about what this act is - it is an act of murder, and murder without any justification," the Prime Minister said.

"We have not identified the individual responsible on the video, but from what we've seen it looks increasingly likely that it is a British citizen - now this is deeply shocking," he added.

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Ex-Army chief plea for parliament recall over Iraq

General Sir Richard Dannatt.
Credit: PA

The retired head of the British Army has said that "the nation would expect" Parliament to be recalled to debate Britain's continued involvement in Iraq, adding to the mounting criticism of David Cameron's decision to take a second summer holiday.

I think the nation would expect that. Everyone has private points of view, I think they need to be aired publicly, I think they need to be aired in Parliament and then I think the PM is going to have confidence that he has got Parliament behind him and hopefully a consensus across the political parties that we are doing the right thing.

– General Sir Richard Dannatt.

More: Mosul dam retaken by Kurdish and Iraqi forces

PM starts second summer holiday amid Iraq criticism

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha pose for a photograph outside a cafe on summer holiday last year.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha pose for a photograph outside a cafe on summer holiday last year. Credit: Reuters

David Cameron commenced the second of his summer holidays today despite the UK's growing involvement in the developing crisis in Iraq.

"Wherever I am, wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed," he said yesterday.

However, the decision is not without its critics.

Former SAS soldier and author Chris Ryan voiced his fears for the UK if British people who have gone to Iraq and Syria to join Islamist extremists return home and continue their fight here.

"Without a shadow of a doubt Parliament should be recalled...this simply cannot wait."

"My biggest fear is when they (Islamist extremists) come back to the UK, Germany and France. They will join forces again and develop ways of bringing military grade explosives and weaponry."

The 53-year-old said he strongly believes the SAS can overcome Islamic State fighters if they work alongside American special forces.

More: Obama: Iraqis and Kurds 'capable of working together'

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan agree on 'defeating IS'

David Cameron has talked by telephone to the Emir of Qatar, the King of Saudi Arabia and the King of Jordan to discuss the Iraq and Gaza, Downing Street said. A spokesman said:

On Iraq, the Prime Minister thanked His Majesty for the significant donation made by Saudi Arabia to the UN appeal and both leaders agreed on the importance of the international community coming together to help Iraq tackle the threat posed by these Islamic terrorists who are perverting the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their barbaric ideology.

The Prime Minister and His Majesty agreed that the world must come together to defeat ISIL terrorists. On Gaza, they agreed on the need to maintain the current ceasefire.

– Spokesman, Downing Street

Britain 'still unclear on foreign policy on Iraq'

Britain's foreign policy on Iraq remained unclear tonight despite David Cameron's protests we would not send in ground troops.

ITV's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship said it had not been spelled out if British policy was to contain the Islamic State fighters so they cannot make any further advances or whether actually it was try and push them back out of Iraq altogether.

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Britain 'may have to revisit' its position on Iraq

Britain may have to "revisit" its position on Iraq if the threat to national security becomes too much.

Former Army officer Col Bob Stewart MP told ITV News: "Things happen and circumstances change, and if our country is threatened by people from the Islamic State, our national interest, our people are threatened, we may well have to revisit that situation."

ITV's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Iran were 'very helpful' in getting Maliki to stand down

Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said Iran were "very helpful" in getting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stand down.

Speaking to ITV news, he said: "We are going through a phase when Iran's interest is coinciding with the interests of the rest of the international community.

"It is unusual, but very helpful in getting this particular mess sorted out."

Kurdistan government 'does not want combat support'

The Kurdistan government has insisted it is capable of fighting its own battle and has not requested combat support from the UK, Downing Street said.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at Islamic Militants.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at Islamic Militants. Credit: Reuters

In a statement following a meeting of the government's national emergency Cobra committee, a No 10 spokesman said: "We remain open to supplying equipment directly and work is under way to identify what we could usefully provide.

"The UK is working hard with allies to make the most of our diplomatic, political, aid and military expertise.

"However as the Prime Minister made clear this morning, this is not about getting dragged into a war in Iraq. We will not be putting combat forces on the ground.

"Further, the Kurdistan Regional Government has not requested our assistance with putting combat forces on the ground.

"They say they are capable of fighting this battle, what they need is equipment which is why we will look at providing weapons to the Kurdish troops."

Pope is 'willing' to go to Iraq in response to crisis

Pope Francis has said he is "willing" to go to Iraq during the crisis but does not think now is the right time.

He told Reuters: "At this moment, it would not be the best thing to do but I am willing to do it."

He also said the international community would be "justified" in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq, but it should not be for a single nation to decide how to act.

But the Pope said it was down to the United Nations to consider the issue.

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