A former top US general has called on Barack Obama to order the destruction the militant group responsible for murdering American journalist James Foley amid conflicting views in the administration on how to respond to the atrocity. Full story here

Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA

British and US security services are attempting to identify the Islamic State (Isis) militant with a British accent who appeared in a video of the apparent beheading of US journalist James Foley. 

Anti-terrorism experts have warned that the video was a highly orchestrated recruitment tool to lure “psychopathic individuals” to fight alongside Isis militants in Syria and Iraq.

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Photo: Steven Senne/AP

“It’s hard to remember a time when more crises were jostling for space in the headline news, or when the world’s leading diplomats were engaged in diplomacy on so many issues simultaneously.”

Islamist militants have declared an Islamic “caliphate” in an area straddling Iraq and Syria, trumpeting the declaration in several videos, challenging al-Qaida and changing its name to the Islamic State. Full story

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria. Photo: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry has urged Kurdish leaders to stand with Baghdad and insisted that the imminent deployment of American military forces is “not intervention” in Iraq’s affairs. Full story here

Above: John Kerry meets with Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish president, in Irbil. Photo: Reuters

Photos of the day: A US Geological Survey satellite image shows smoke rising from the Baiji refinery near Tikrit, Iraq, this week. (USGS/Reuters)

Barack Obama has announced that up to 300 “military advisers” will be sent to help Iraq’s beleaguered army repel the advance of Sunni insurgents, but insisted the US would not be dragged into another bloody war in the country. Full story here

Iraqi insurgents militants stand with captured Iraqi army Himvee at a vehicle checkpoint. Photo: AP

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A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand down as a condition of US air strikes against Sunni militants who have made a lightning advance across the country. Full story 

Photo: AFP/Getty