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French President Hollande in Iraq as coalition to fight Islamic State jihadists grows

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French President Hollande in Iraq as coalition to fight Islamic State jihadists grows

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French President Francois Hollande flew to Iraq on Friday (September 12) to hold talks about fighting the advance of Islamic State militants.

He met with the new Iraqi President Fuad Masoum in Baghdad and later flew to Irbil to meet with the leader of the Kurdish controlled region in the north.

France has offered military support against Islamic State jihadists, as part of a coalition being formed by Washington.

Hollande told reporters: “The goal is to co-ordinate aid, support and action for the unity of Iraq and against this terrorist group,”

On Monday Paris will host an international conference to coordinate support in fighting them.

Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Ankara, urging Turkish officials to support more military action against ISIL in Syria and Iraq

Turkey has refused to allow its air bases to be used to launch attacks on the jihadist group, which is currently holding 49 Turkish citizens hostage.

Ten Arab nations have agreed to help the US in its fight – the CIA says it may send more than 30,000 fighters.