General Martin Dempsey
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Iraq asks US for 'air power' against rebels

Iraq has formally called on the United States to launch air strikes against jihadist militants who have seized several key cities.

"We have a request from the Iraqi government for air power," confirmed top US military commander General Martin Dempsey.

He told a Senate panel that it was in America's "national interest to counter [ISIS] wherever we find them".

The announcement came after insurgents launched an attack on Iraq's biggest oil refinery north of Baghdad.

  • 18 Jun 2014
Go to next video: Iraq's biggest oil refinery invaded