He added that the new developments would not change Britain's "overall strategy" in the region, underlining that the government had been aware of the existence of a British hostage for some time.
"We will look very carefully at the options available to us to support the legitimate government of Iraq and [Iraqi] Kurdistan in defending themselves from the threat of ISIS and if we judge that air strikes could be beneficial, could be the best way to do that, then we will certainly consider them but we have made no decision to do so at the moment."Fighters from ISIS, who already control parts of Syria, captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June and then surged across the north, taking control of a number of predominantly Sunni cities.
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