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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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  1. Geraint Vincent

Isis' latest surge poses a very worrying prospect

Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk. Credit: AA / TT/TT News Agency

A lot of the towns that have reportedly been captured in Iraq are along the country's borders, allowing Isis to ensure supply routes from Syria, where they already have a presence.

One of them is on the road between Baghdad and Jordan - a country which is home to quite a few Islamic extremists but which is, at the moment, stable.

But if all these towns are indeed falling then pretty much all of Iraq's western border is now in the hands of the jihadists - an extremely worrying prospect for the whole of the region.

All that stands against them now is an Iraqi army which, in the words of one diplomat here in Baghdad, lacks an offensive capability, so is not going to be able to take this territory back.

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