Live updates

French jets strike IS targets to 'breach' frontline defences

Islamic State flags flutter on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in southern Kirkuk September 29, 2014. Credit: Reuters

French air force jets were part of a coalition airstrike that hit Islamic State militant targets near the strategic oil city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, the French defence ministry has said.

"This action was carried out simultaneously with our allies to create a breach in the defensive positions held by the terrorists on the frontline between Iraqi forces and Islamic State." the ministry said.

Advertisement

Isis leader 'injured in US airstrike' calls for 'volcanoes of jihad'

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks in Saudi Arabia, and said his Caliphate was expanding across the Arab world and called for "volcanoes of jihad" across the globe in a speech purported to be in his name.

Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, speaking earlier this year. Credit: YouTube

Baghdadi also said that a US-led military campaign against his group in Syria and Iraq was failing. ITV News cannot independently verify the speech or its content.

There had been reports that Baghdadi had been injured or killed in a US airstrike over the weekend.

MoD: RAF drone joined attacks against militants in Iraq

An unmanned RAF 'Reaper' drone carried out attacks against militants in Iraq. Credit: Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that an unmanned RAF 'Reaper' drone carried out attacks against militants in Iraq for the first time at the weekend.

The MoD said the drone was used during a series of coalition missions conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad and "successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile".

The drone also provided "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to coalition aircraft which enabled them to conduct further strikes" according to the MoD.

Advertisement

US: 'No indication' Islamic State leader injured in air strike

Credit: Reuters

The United States government has no information that indicates the commander of the so-called Islamic State was wounded near the Iraqi city of Mosul in a recent air strike, officials have said.

Speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, officials were asked about an account on Twitter that said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been wounded in the strikes. One official said that "nothing has changed" since Saturday, when the U.S. military said it was unclear if Baghdadi was present at the time of the strikes.

However, state media in Iraq, citing senior Iraqi government officials, has reported that Baghdadi was in the convoy.

Officials investigating claims of British suicide bomber

The Foreign Office is investigating claims that a British man was involved in a suicide bombing in Iraq. The man, named in reports as Kabir Ahmed from Derby, is thought to have died in an attack in the town of Beiji, north of Baghdad.

The 32-year-old is said not to have told his family that he was fleeing Britain to fight for terrorist organisation Islamic State.

It would make Ahmed the second British jihadist suicide bomber, after Abdul Waheed Majeed - a 41-year-old father-of-three from Crawley in West Sussex - blew himself up in February in Syria.

Iraqi official: Isis leader 'injured in airstrike near Mosul'

Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, speaking earlier this year. Credit: YouTube

Iraqi state television is now quoting a senior Iraqi official confirming that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been injured in an airstrike near Mosul, ITV News understands.

Yesterday US officials said that airstrikes had destroyed a moving, 10-vehicle Islamic State convoy near Mosul, but said it was unclear whether al-Baghdadi was present at the time.

Iraqi military forces reach northern city of Baiji

An army colonel and a witness have said Iraqi military forces reached the centre of the northern city of Baiji on Sunday to try to break an Islamic State siege of the country's biggest refinery nearby, triggering fierce clashes with the militants.

A vehicle belonging to Iraqi security forces is seen near the city of Baiji, north of Baghdad in June. Credit: Reuters

Islamic State Sunni insurgents seized Baiji city in June during a lightning advance through northern Iraq. Since then, they have surrounded the refinery and halted its production while a detachment of government troops has held out for months under siege inside it.

The colonel said Iraqi troops entered Baiji, a city of about 200,000 people, from the south and west and took over the al-Tamim neighbourhood and city centre.

Load more updates