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NATO Discusses Threat Of Islamic State

Islamic state fighters

NATO leaders have been assessing the global threat posed by the Islamic State insurgency.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the international community had an "obligation" to stop the advance of the Islamic State.

Rasmussen was speaking on the first day of a NATO summit in Wales.

Islamic State fighters have captured large swaths of northern and western Iraq, and made incursions into Syria as well.

Rasmussen said he was confident that, if asked, allies would "seriously" think about helping Iraq.

In an opinion piece published on September 4 in Britain's "The Times," U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said NATO "must strengthen its alliance," in response to an "arc of instability from North Africa and the Sahel to the Middle East."

Meanwhile, Islamic State fighters have kidnapped some 50 men accused of burning its flag in a Sunni village north of Baghdad.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP