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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."

Battle for the Mosul Dam is no 'one-sided fight'

The battle between the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish Peshmerga for the control of the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq is no "one sided fight" -even with the help of the Americans.

IS has been beaten back but it is the first in a battle of many that sees America at war in Iraq again.

For three days now the American airforce has pounded the Mosul Dam. The Peshmerga have western weapons but IS is still hanging on.

ITV News' Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray has this report:

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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.

Kurdish fighters locked in ground battle with militants

Kurdish Peshmerga forces are continuing to combat Islamic State (IS) militants close to the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq.

NBC News correspondent Bill Neely, who is with one unit, said the militants are responding to missiles with more shelling.

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Minutes after firing rockets from this position Kurdish troops were targeted here by ISIS shells. http://t.co/MUzyvQFie7

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Pentagon: US conducts more airstrikes at Mosul Dam

The Pentagon has said there have been additional US strikes on Islamic State positions near the Mosul Dam in Iraq.

A mix of US fighter, bomber and drone aircraft took part in the strikes, which damaged or destroyed six armed vehicles, a light armored vehicle, a vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, a checkpoint and an improvised explosive device emplacement belt, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Since Aug. 8, the US military has conducted a total of 68 airstrikes in Iraq, of which 35 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.

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Islamic State vows to 'erase US off the map'

The Islamic State (IS) extremist group has vowed to erase the United States "off the map" as it denied claims it had "lost power" following American air strikes.

Reuters
Islamic State fighters have vowed to 'erase' the United States. Credit: Reuters

In a statement, the group said the US will be "erased soon by the caliphate knights".

The Roman dog only pushed his air force in a new mess,and entered an alliance with the Kurds to commit the stupidity he has yet to awake from!

Apparently this idiot forgot the Iraq swamp where tens of thousands of crusaders were exterminated and tens of thousands injured years ago.

Not to mention the economic losses and financial crisis that nearly erased the United States off the map; and it will be erased soon by the caliphate knights.

– Islamic State statement

IS also claimed responsibility for a Kurdish helicopter crash which killed the pilot and injured a US journalist and an Iraqi member of parliament.

Reporters near Mosul Dam say "fierce fighting" is ongoing in the area, as Kurdish forces - backed by US air strikes - continue with their offensive to retake the strategic facility.

Mosul Dam battle continues despite victory claims

By John Ray: Diplomatic Correspondent in Iraq

Kurdish forces have been saying they have taken the Mosul Dam for the past 24 hours but while we've been watching the battle is still very much going on.

There is the sound of American jet bombers overhead and the evidence in front of me is thick plumes of smoke on the dam itself.

Clearly there have still been pockets of resistance from the Islamic State (IS) with fighters holed up in two control towers in the dam, and in some verges close by.

The battle for Mosul Dam continues despite Kurdish claims of victory.
The battle for Mosul Dam continues despite Kurdish claims of victory.

While we have been here, we have witnessed a huge convoy of Kurdish fighters heading in and exhausted troops coming out.

Despite three days of US air strikes and weapons supplied from the West, this has been a pretty tough fight indeed for the Kurds.

But let's not forget the Islamic State are the best armed, best organised and richest terrorist organisation that the world has ever seen.

Beyond the Mosul Dam, there is large swathes of Iraq which the Islamic State still controls.

Only one in five think UK Govt should seek to defeat IS

Only one in five Britons believe the UK Government should try to defeat the Islamic State in its entirety, a ComRes/ITV News poll has found.

Reuters
Islamic State fighters have captured large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria. Credit: Reuters

The public is split about how the government should respond to the threat of the militants in Iraq and Syria, with 29% believing IS fighters should be stopped from making further gains.

Some 30% of Brits said the UK should not get involved in the conflict, preferring to leave the situation to run its course, in the poll of 2,042 British adults.

Little support was shown for offering asylum to Iraqis under threat with just 24% thinking Iraqi Christians should be allowed to come to the UK.

'Fierce fighting' continues at Mosul Dam amid US strikes

Fierce fighting continues at the Mosul Dam where Kurdish forces supported by US air strikes continue to battle Islamic State fighters, NBC News' Bill Neely reports.

Neely reported seeing "new explosions every few minutes" around the dam and in a village 10 miles away, as Peshmerga troops and militants exchanged fire.

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I'm in the #Mosul Dam area where there is still fierce fighting between #ISIS and Kurdish forces. US airstrikes continue in the area.

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