According to news gathered from BBC- The Obama’s administration,US defence secretary has arrived on an unannounced visit to Iraq to assess the progress of the offensive against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul. Ash Carter comes fresh from meetings with Turkish leaders in Ankara aimed at allowing Turkey to play a part in the Mosul operation despite Iraqi concerns.
He has overseen a steady increase in US troop numbers in Iraq this year.
Iraqi forces began a new attempt to recapture the town of Qaraqosh near Mosul on Saturday.
The town, which was formerly known for its large Christian population, is said to be largely empty but IS has mined the approaches to Mosul.
The militants have also been attacking with multiple suicide bombers, each driving a vehicle laden with explosives at high speed towards government lines.
Friday’s IS attack on the city of Kirkuk, 170km (105 miles) to the south-east, now appears to be over, leaving at least 35 people dead and 120 wounded, according to medical sources.