Plans Made to Recapture Mosul

Asked about possible coordination with Iran against IS, the US official suggested that there had not been direct contact but indicated that the United States was aware of Iranian activities. There have been numerous reports of visits to Iraq by Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani, and Iranian national security adviser Ali Shamkhani — an ethnic Arab — is said to be involved in the discussions over forming a new cabinet.

The crisis in Iraq has also focused new attention on the spread of IS in Syria, prompting calls from some quarters for direct US military intervention there.

President Obama, reacting to confirmation that IS brutally executed an American hostage — freelance journalist James Foley — called for “a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread.”

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