Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi left for Washington today to meet President Donald Trump as his forces press an assault to recapture west Mosul from the Islamic State jihadist group. The premier's office said Abadi would also meet Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, without giving specific dates. On Wednesday, the prime minister is to take part in a ministerial meeting of the 68-nation coalition lined up against the Islamic State group. Iraqi authorities in October launched an offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul from IS with the support of US-led coalition air strikes. They retook the east side of Mosul in January before setting their sights on the more densely-populated west of the city, the last major urban centre held by IS in Iraq. The Iraqi government earlier this month welcomed its nationals' exemption from a revised travel ban drawn up by Trump as an "important step" that strengthens ties between Baghdad and Washington.
Iraq premier visits US as forces press anti-IS assault