German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier has hinted that Berlin may send military support to help crush Islamic State (IS) militants who have over-run large areas of Iraq.
On a visit to Baghdad, he said he would ask Kurdish leaders what other help was needed to tackle the “catastrophe” that had struck the country.
On Friday, the EU gave countries the green light to supply weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting the jihadists.
Steinmeier told reporters: “The daily pictures we see from Iraq of murdered, slaughtered people horrifies Germany and the entire world. A terrorist band of murderers is trying to subdue the country, create their own state, their own caliphate. We must be concerned that the last anchors of stability in Iraq could also fall.”
Earlier Iraqi President Fuad Masum told Steinmeier that the country was facing a new kind of terrorism aimed at extinguishing minority groups.
In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians have fled their homes as IS fighters advanced through northwestern Iraq.
The lucky ones have made it to Erbil in the Kurdish region where humanitarian aid and shelter is being made available.
But at the Iraq-Syria border, a British TV news crew spoke to one man who said he was going back to look for the rest of his family, stuck on Mount Sinjar.
He told them he couldn’t wait for American help any longer “because our families will die waiting for them”.