The United States has signalled it may expand the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes in Iraq and the beheading of American journalist James Foley.
So far, the US effort has been relatively limited to protecting Iraq’s Yazidi minority and attacking positions held by the Jihadi fighters around the Mosul Dam.
“We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary to deal with that threat, and we’re not going to be restricted by borders. We’ve shown time and again that if there’s a counter terrorism threat, we’ll take direct action against that threat if necessary,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy White House National Security Adviser.
Meanwhile, Kurdish peshmerga forces have been trying to reclaim areas around the towns of Jalula and Sadiyah, which Islamic State militants have held for around two months.
Despite facing a difficult task against the well-armed extremists, the Kurdish troops have made important gains and have recaptured strategic positions.
Earlier, at least 68 people were killed at a mosque in a village south of Baquba when suspected Shia militiamen attacked worshippers during Friday prayers.