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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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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.

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.

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."

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