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John Kerry visits Iraq at key moment of struggle against ISIL

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John Kerry visits Iraq at key moment of struggle against ISIL


The US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Friday to show his support for Iraq, whose government is embroiled in domestic problems as it struggles to retake ground from the self-styled Islamic State.

He met Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and, later, the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has shaken up the establishment by proposing a cabinet reshuffle aimed at curbing corruption.

The US fears the political unrest may harm Iraq’s efforts to defeat ISIL.

It is Kerry’s first visit to the Iraqi capital since September 2014.

Iraq’s defence ministry released video said to show the country’s jet fighters striking at ISIL targets.

It claimed the extremists suffered heavy losses to personnel and equipment as a result of the attack in Anbar province west of Baghdad.

The area is strategically important as it takes in an ISIL supply line linking Iraqi territory with its base in Syria.

In the past two weeks Iraqi forces backed by US-led coalition airstrikes have retaken significant parts of Hit, a town 130 kilometres northwest of Baghdad.

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