US defence chief arrives in Iraq's Arbil

AFP , Thursday 17 Dec 2015

U. S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses the U.S. troops at the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 (Photo: AP)

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter arrived in Arbil on Thursday for talks with Iraqi Kurdish officials on the war against ISIS, an AFP journalist said.

Iraqi Kurdish forces are a key US partner in the war against ISIS, which overran large parts of Iraq last year.

Carter's visit to Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, followed a trip to Baghdad the day before.

There, he met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and the two discussed "improving cooperation between the two countries in the fields of arming and training," a statement from the premier's office said.

Carter and his delegation also met US partners in the international anti-IS coalition.

US aircraft carry out daily air strikes against ISIS targets, most of them in the Iraqi part of the jihadists' self-proclaimed "caliphate", which also covers regions in Syria.

President Barack Obama said on Monday the US and its allies were hitting ISIS"harder than ever" and warned the extremists' leaders: "You are next."

Short link: