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US defence secretary in Iraq for anti-Daesh talks

Carter's talks will focus on anti-Daesh operations in Mosul

US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter arrived in Baghdad on Sunday for talks with Iraqi officials on the war against the Daesh terrorist group.

Carter will meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and commanders of US forces in Iraq to discuss an ongoing offensive to oust Daesh from the northern city of Mosul, a source with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to the media.

It was not immediately clear how long Carter would stay in Baghdad.

In October, Carter visited Baghdad and the northern city of Erbil for talks on the anti-Daesh operations in Mosul.

Read: 4,000 Daesh fighters regroup, make new attempt to capture Palmyra, Syria

The US is leading an international coalition, which has been striking Daesh targets from the air – in both Iraq and Syria – since the terrorist group’s dramatic territorial gains in 2014.

In late October, the Iraqi army – backed by US-led coalition warplanes and local allies on the ground – launched a major offensive to retake Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq.

VIDEO: Turkish jets destroy 39 Daesh facilities in northern Syria

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