Kerry arrives in Baghdad for talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at Air Force Station, Palam in New Delhi on July 30, 2014. (Photo: IANS)US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq’s capital Baghdad Wednesday for talks with Iraqi leaders for building up an anti-terrorism campaign, media reported.

Kerry is expected to meet top Iraqi leaders, including new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to discuss forming a broad coalition against the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation, an Al Qaeda offshoot, in Iraq and Syria, Xinhua reported citing state-run Iraqiya channel.

Kerry’s visit is part of his tour in the Middle East to consult with US partners and allies in a bid to seek support for the anti-terrorism coalition.

The security situation in Iraq has been worsening since June when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by IS, launched a surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces, and the fall of a large part of the country’s northern and western territories.

Despite his reluctance to return to Iraq with ground troops, US President Barack Obama is now trying to build up a global coalition to root out the brutal jihadi group both in Iraq and Syria.

While Washington continues with its airstrikes against Islamist militants in Iraq, the Obama administration is about to unveil its long-term strategy to defeat the IS.