Asked if that could include military action Mr Abbott replied: "Well we certainly don't rule that out. "We are talking to our security partners about what we can usefully do to help," Mr Abbott said. "The United Kingdom and Australia, and the United States, are acutely conscious of the potential for genocide on Mount Sinjar and elsewhere in northern Iraq and we will do what we reasonably can to protect people.
Mr Abbott on Tuesday said he agreed with US President Barack Obama that the situation in northern Iraq was "potential genocide". "No one wants to stand aside in the face of a potential genocide," the Prime Minister said following talks with the British Prime Minister, senior UK ministers and intelligence officers in London.
Mr Abbott stressed there was a fundamental difference between getting involved to prevent genocide and past western interventions in the region for "geopolitical objectives". "This is a fundamentally humanitarian mission designed to protect innocent men, women and children from the murderous hordes that currently confront them," he said, adding terrorists had been "crucifying, decapitating, summarily executing people and dealing in a hideous way with woman and children as well as with men".
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