U.S. Defence Secy. in Iraq to seek new ways to battle IS

December 17, 2015 12:58 am | Updated November 16, 2021 04:21 pm IST - BAGHDAD:

U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter met with Iraqi leaders and his commanders Wednesday on an unannounced war zone visit aimed at broadening U.S. assistance to Iraq to defeat the Islamic State .

The Obama administration has been talking for days about “accelerating” the fight against IS, but that effort is complicated because there is some Iraqi reluctance to having a greater U.S. footprint in the country. Those concerns could affect whether or not Iraqi leaders agree to allow the U.S. to send Apache attack helicopters and more troops into the fight.

At the start of a meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, mr. Carter said the U.S. wants to help Iraq as it fights against IS in Ramadi and then later in Mosul. “Everything we do...here is subject to the approval of the sovereign Iraqi government,” Mr. Carter said.

Mr. Abadi said he believes Iraqi forces are making progress. — AP

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