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John Kerry arrives in Iraq to discuss Islamic State threat with new government

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday as part of a Middle East trip that President Barack Obama hopes will "continue to build the coalition needed to root out this threat" posed by the Islamic State.

By JC Finley
John Kerry arrives in Iraq to discuss Islamic State threat with new government
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards a C17 en route to Baghdad, Iraq, after arriving in Amman, Jordan on September 10, 2014. (Flickr/U.S. Department of State)

BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday to meet with Iraq's new leadership regarding the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

Kerry tweeted upon landing that Iraq is a "critical partner against ISIL" and that "inclusive government is a big step."

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Iraq's Parliament formed a new government on Monday that includes both minority Sunnis and Kurds in senior leadership positions, a step the West deemed essential to defeating the Islamic State.

During his meeting with Kerry on Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appealed for more international help combating IS militants who have waged a lightning offensive against key Iraqi cities.

"We are fighting these people," Abadi said after his meeting with Kerry, noting "They are a challenge to the whole region, to the international community."

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U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a prime time address at 9:00 p.m. EDT to unveil his strategy "to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL."

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Kerry assured Abadi that more help is on the way, telling him "the president will lay out tonight a more detailed description of exactly what the United States is prepared to do together with many other countries."

Obama dispatched Kerry to the Middle East "to continue to build the coalition needed to root out this threat" posed by IS. Kerry is also expected to consult with officials in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

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