Tuesday, April 14
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi met with President Barack Obama and senior administration officials today in Washington, D.C.
Here are today’s highlights:
New York Times: Obama Gives Visiting Iraqi Premier Aid and an Endorsement
By Peter Baker and Michael Gordon, April 14
After a long meeting that touched on war and sectarian divisions, Mr. Obama publicly credited Mr. Abadi with helping to turn the tide in the battle against the Islamic State extremists who seized much of his country last year and expressed confidence that the new Shiite-led government in Baghdad was doing more to include Sunni and Kurdish minorities.
USA Today: Obama: An additional $200 million for Iraq
By David Jackson, April 14
The United States will provide an additional $200 million to Iraq in humanitarian aid as it battles the Islamic State, President Obama said Tuesday, though his pledge did not include new direct military assistance.
BBC News: Iraq 'retakes over quarter of Islamic State territory'
The Islamic State (IS) has lost more than a quarter of its territory in Iraq since the US-led coalition air campaign began in August, a Pentagon spokesman says. Col. Steve Warren said it was too early to say the tide was turning, but that air strikes and Iraqi ground forces had "unquestionably inflicted some damage."
Foreign Policy: Iraq Eyes Small Steps for Big Gains Against Islamic State
By Lara Jakes, April 13
“Military forces backed primarily by Iran were running the show,” Vice President Joe Biden, referring to the Tikrit battle, told the National Defense University in a speech last week. “…Then something changed. The attack stalled.” Biden acknowledged that Iraq will always have ties to Iran, given their shared border and, more importantly, their history as two Shiite powerhouses in an overwhelmingly Sunni-dominated Middle East. But in a clear challenge to Tehran, Biden maintained that “Iraqis do not want to be drawn into regional conflicts.”
Politico: Iraqi leader arrives in Washington at turning point in ISIL battle
By Philip Ewing, April 13
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is visiting Washington Tuesday at a crucial moment in the war against the Islamic State. The recapture of the Sunni city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, has brought the war to an inflection point, and two major questions now loom for military officials: Where should the counter-offensive go next and what more do the Iraqis need from Washington to press it?
Infographic: Please click here to track the progress of Iraq’s new government.