The US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Iraq to build support against Islamic State militants.
It is the start of a tour of the Middle East to garner both financial and military backing to defeat the militants that have seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria.
His visit comes hours before a speech in which US President Barack Obama will try to rally Americans behind another war in a region he has long sought to leave.
But it will be hard to placate all the forces in Iraq. Three car bombs exploded on Wednesday in a Shi’ite neighbourhood, killing nine people and injuring 29 others.
Sectarian tensions appea as entrenched as ever, possibly worsened by a month of US air strikes on Sunni jihadists.
The fallout risks increasing grievances that helped Islamic State fighters find support amongst Iraq’s Sunnis and may make it more difficult to convince them to combat the militants.