Iraq has said it would allow the United States to launch airstrikes against al-Qaeda-linked militants in the north of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday, citing unnamed US officials.

The Obama administration was considering a range of options, including airstrikes carried out by drones or manned aircraft, senior US officials said.

The Iraqi military made the request after rebels of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week.

“Kinetic support” remains a possibility, although no decision has yet been made, the US officials were cited as saying.

Iraq has previously requested the loan of US drones for its own forces to deploy against the militants, but Washington has so far refused.

More In: World | International | News