The U.S. military says the Iraqi capital of Baghdad is not currently threatened by Islamic State (IS) militants despite the extremist group's seizure of territory in the nearby Anbar Province.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, a U.S. military spokesman, said on October 16 in Washington that Iraqi security forces are continuing to "stiffen their defensive positions around Baghdad.
He said that despite a series of deadly bombings in the Iraqi capital and advances by IS in Anbar -- which is west of Baghdad -- the city is not encircled or on the verge of being overrun.
Kirby added that Iraqi security forces are improving in a "capable way" and that strong sandstorms recently hindered U.S.-l;led air strikes against IS positions.
Kirby's comments come amid a report by "The Washington Post" that mortars fired by IS fighters have landed in central Baghdad.