Islamic State leader calls for jihad in audio message

The leader of the Islamic State, formerly Isis, has released the first audiotape calling for jihad since the group renamed. The group is currently battling Iraqi forces across large parts of the country.

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Iraq conflict: Army can only be as strong as its leaders

The Iraqi government's request for help is a reflection of the fact that an army can only be as strong as the country from which it is drawn.

The Iraqi army numbers about a quarter of a million men, it's equipped with all the helicopters and tanks the US gave it - and yet it has folded in recent days and weeks in the face of a few thousand extremist fighters.

There are clear questions about its command and control capabilities and the morale of its troops.

President Barack Obama said tonight that he had urged Iraq's leaders to "set aside sectarian agendas and to come together with a sense of national unity."

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