US confirms Iraqi request for air strikes on militants

The Iraqi government has asked for US air support to help counter Sunni militant group Isis, the top US military officer has confirmed at a congressional hearing today.

Read: Iraq 'asking US to launch air strike on militants'

Army General Martin Dempsey confirms the Iraqi government has asked for US air support.
Army General Martin Dempsey confirms the Iraqi government has asked for US air support. Credit: Reuters

Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee: "we have a request from the Iraqi government for air power" to counter Isis insurgents, but he did not say exactly when the request was made.

Read: The fall of Mosul: 'A chronic failure of a shining rabble'

Asked whether the US should honor that request, Dempsey responded indirectly, saying: "It is in our national security interest to counter Isil wherever we find them."

More: Video shows 'poorly organised' Iraq army troops failing to stop Isis advance into Mosul

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