As Britain edges closer to direct military action in Iraq, we pick out three options for prime minister David Cameron and foreign secretary Philip Hammond to consider.
Secure refugees peacefully
UN representatives may be able to convince Isis fighters to allow the Yazidis currently trapped on Mount Sinjar to descend to safety – backed by the threat of US air strikes if they do not co-operate.
Britain could support a UN-led mission to the region to secure a corridor for the refugees, with the help of Iraq army troops and Kurdish forces.
Arm the Kurds
According to Bayan Sami Rahman, the Kurdistan regional government’s high representative to the UK, its forces are being “outgunned” by Isis and are in need of Western weaponry. Britain has agreed to send equipment, but arming the Kurds could also be a possibility.
No 10 says no discussions have yet been held on the subject. There were reports yesterday claiming the US is already supplying weapons to Kurdish fighters in some capacity.
Launch an assault on the insurgents
Although Philip Hammond has said there are currently no plans for British military involvement in the crisis, it could become an option if the situation does not improve soon.