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Kerry Says Iraq's Abadi Did Not Request New U.S. Troops

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (right) receives U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the library at the foreign minister's villa in Baghdad on April 8.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi made no request for new U.S. troops to help fight Islamic State (IS) militants.

On a visit to Baghdad on April 8, Kerry told reporters at the U.S. Embassy that he wanted to reiterate the support of the U.S. president and vice president for Abadi, who is struggling with a political crisis, a collapsing economy, and the war against IS.

He said he made clear to Abadi that it is important to have political stability in Iraq so that military operations are not affected.

Kerry met earlier with Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and other senior Iraqi officials.

Kerry's trip coincides with military advances. Iraqi forces say they entered the strategically important IS-held town of Hit on April 7.

The Pentagon is considering establishing more small military outposts to provide artillery support and other aid to Iraqi forces readying an assault on Mosul, IS's stronghold in the country.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters