Any New Zealand commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq should not make New Zealand more of a target for terrorism, according to Prime Minister John Key.

With his Government officially sworn in, Mr Key is now in a position to consider any formal request from the US for assistance against Islamic State which is now poised to capture the strategic Syrian town of Kobani on the border with Turkey.

Mr Key has said his preference is to decide what assistance New Zealand would offer before an formal request is made and expects his Government will make that call some time next month.

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