New Zealand 'Extremely Unlikely' to Send Troops to Aid in Iraq Crisis

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By Reissa Su | August 14, 2014 4:19 PM EST

New Zealand Labour is calling on the government to provide assistance and increase humanitarian aid to Iraq. A spokesman for the Labour party's foreign affairs said Iraq "urgently" needs more help.

REUTERS/Mohammed Adnan
A boy (2nd L) who was wounded in a bomb attack receives treatment at a hospital in Baquba, about 50 km (31 miles) northeast of Baghdad, January 15, 2014. REUTERS

However, according to reports, Prime Minister John Key declared it would be "extremely unlikely" to follow Australia in sending troops to Iraq. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had recently announced that he is considering sending troops to Iraq on a "limited mission" to prevent Islamic militants from further killing religious minorities. Yazidis had fled their homes and sought refuge in Mt Sinjar. They are now trapped without food or water.

The Yazidis were only some of the people threatened by ISIS and threatened to kill them if they will not convert to Islam.

According to Labour foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer, the crisis in Iraq might worsen. He urged the New Zealand government to act and pledge aid in support of the UN's call for help.

The United States has launched airstrikes to support the Kurdish forces in protecting persecuted families. Shearer said the airstrikes may not be a long-term solution,but they are needed to protect the people.

Shearer reported that a large number of people were moving towards safety along a route to north of Iraq in Kurdish autonomous zone. He encouraged New Zealand to support agencies present in the area to make sure the needs of refugees are met.

Labour also expressed its support for the appointment of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi backed the creation of a more inclusive government.

Mr Key said the developing situation in Iraq was being monitored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The department was also tasked to assess what New Zealand could do to help.

If New Zealand's prime minister does not consider the possibility of sending military troops to Iraq, Australia's leader keeps an open mind. Mr Abbott told reporters in London on Aug 12 that Australia was not ruling out the possibility.

He said Australia is willing to provide any reasonable assistance to keep people from suffering due to starvation and dehydration on Mt Sinjar. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Adnan / )
A boy (2nd L) who was wounded in a bomb attack receives treatment at a hospital in Baquba, about 50 km (31 miles) northeast of Baghdad, January 15, 2014. REUTERS
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