April 18, 2016 / 6:46 AM / 2 years ago

REFILE-U.S. defense chief arrives in Iraq on surprise visit

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BAGHDAD, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Monday to meet U.S. military commanders and Iraqi officials, as Washington looks for ways to build on recent gains against the Islamic State militant group.

U.S. officials said Carter would meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi, and discuss specific additional military assistance the United States could provide to the Iraqi government.

Iraq’s army has recently retaken some territory captured by Islamic State. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Sami Aboudi)

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