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British leader under pressure on Iraq

LONDON (AP) -- Pressure mounted Monday for British Prime Minister David Cameron to do more on Iraq, with some members of his own party urging him to recall Parliament from its summer break to consider action against Islamic militants.

British cargo planes carrying drinking water and tents have dropped emergency supplies over Iraq, focusing attention on the Yazidi community, a minority group besieged by Islamic militants in the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq. American forces have been carrying out airstrikes to support Kurdish and Iraqi forces fighting the militants.

But with media replete with stories of suffering and atrocities, Britain's government is being called to account. The Daily Mail newspaper featured a photograph of the prime minister walking barefoot down a beach under the headline: “Now UK must join bomb raids on fanatics, say MPs.”

Lawmaker Conor Burns is leading the charge for a recall of Parliament, insisting that airdropping supplies is not enough to help “brother and sister Christians.”

“These people are being beheaded ... and our only response is to drop some food or water on them,” he said.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, a prominent member of Cameron's Conservative Party, has also urged Britain to do more, writing in the Daily Telegraph that action is needed to prevent “the Ebola-like spread of the fanatics.”

“It would be an utter tragedy if we did not do everything in our power to give succor and relief to those who are now facing massacre and persecution, and to help repel the maniacs from one of the few bright spots in the Middle East,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

Ex-Army chief Gen. Richard Dannatt told the BBC on Monday that it may be necessary to put British troops on the ground to direct air support.

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