Global Independent Analytics

Kerry Makes Previously Unannounced Visit to Iraq

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Baghdad on a previously unannounced visit that marks his first trip to Iraq since 2014

Pamela Dockins for Voice of America reports: Kerry traveled from Bahrain to Iraq Friday for talks with officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Kurdistan regional government Prime Minister Nechrivan Barzani.

“The secretary will underscore our strong support for the Iraqi government as it addresses significant security, economic and political challenges,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.   

Kerry is expected to discuss he multinational coalition’s ongoing support for Iraqi-led efforts to defeat Islamic State, said Kirby in a statement. “There may be a situation in which there is another base that is opened or reopened from years past that would be used…as a fire support base behind the front lines,” said Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis, the Vice Director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff Operations.

The U.S. support of the military operations might not be overestimated, considering the fact that an additional military outpost is to be built up, and more U.S. troops will be sent to fight ISIS combatants.

Kerry also is anticipated to talk over a political turmoil with PM Abadi, who has suggested reorganizing a Cabinet in an effort to fight corruption after weeks of protests by supporters of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

“Part of Kerry’s message “will be to encourage the Iraqis, while they are dealing with cabinet reshuffle not to lose sight of the need to stay focused on the fight against ISIL,” said a senior State Department official.

Kerry is on a week-long tour of the Middle East and Asia. Later, he travels to Hiroshima, Japan, for a G7 summit and to visit a World War II memorial,” concludes Dockins.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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