NEWPORT, United Kingdom: NATO would "seriously" consider any request from Iraq for assistance in a war against insurgents from the radical Islamic State, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday.
"We will discuss what individual allies and what NATO can do to counter the threat from the terrorist organisation, so-called Islamic State," he said before the start of a two-day summit of leaders from the Western military alliance in Newport, Wales.
"We haven't received any request for NATO engagement. I'm sure that if the Iraqi government were to forward a request for NATO assistance, that would be considered seriously by NATO allies," the secretary general said.
"I do believe that the international community as a whole has an obligation to stop the Islamic State from advancing further," he said, after two US journalists were shown being beheaded in videos by extremists as retaliation for US air strikes in Iraq.
One of the videos also said a British hostage would be killed next if bombing continued.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama said in an op-ed in the Times newspaper on Thursday that their countries would not be "cowed" by the threats. (AFP)