Peace and Freedom

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Critics say Obama’s drawdown of US troops in Iraq was a strategic blunder that allowed the Islamic State to flourish.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Photo by AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Iraq’s prime minister will plead for more US military support in the war against insurgent Islamic State jihadists during a first White House meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Embarking on his inaugural prime ministerial trip to Washington, Haider al-Abadi said his top priority would be to secure a “marked increase” in the US-led air campaign and in the “delivery of arms.”

Abadi arrives in the United States with swathes of his country — including the second city, Mosul — still under occupation by militants bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate.

His armed forces, ravaged by years of war, desertion and underfunding, have parried the Islamic State’s advance on Baghdad, but struggled to get on the front foot.

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