The White House next week will host the head of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, a frontline ally in the fight against Islamic militants..
Massud Barzani will meet with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden only weeks after a landmark visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
The weeklong visit will include talks on "the combined campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State militant group which occupies much of northern Iraq, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said in Washington on April 30.
Coalition forces are planning a campaign to retake Iraq's northern city Mosul from the Islamic group, which designated Mosul as the capital of its "caliphate" last year.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces are considered key in any offensive to retake Mosul. Because of their leading role in liberating other occupied areas of Iraq and Syria, the U.S. has been arming the Kurdish forces,