Kerry Makes Previously Unannounced Visit to Iraq
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Baghdad on a previously unannounced visit that marks his first trip to Iraq since 2014.
Kerry traveled from Bahrain to Iraq Friday for talks with officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Kurdistan regional government Prime Minister Nechrivan Barzani.
“The secretary will underscore our strong support for the Iraqi government as it addresses significant security, economic and political challenges,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.
He will also discuss the multi-national coalition’s ongoing support for Iraqi-led efforts to defeat Islamic State, said Kirby in a statement.
The trip comes as Iraqi-led forces push to re-take the northern city of Mosul, which fell to Islamic State militants in 2014.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Defense Department announced it will open an additional small military outpost.
Greece Sends Second Group of Migrants to Turkey
Greece has sent a second group of migrants back to Turkey under a European Union deal with Turkey to exchange migrants for Syrians from Turkish refugee camps.
A Turkish ferry containing 45 migrants from Pakistan left the Greek island of Lesbos Friday, despite protests by human rights activists.
At least two activists were arrested after jumping into the water and clinging to the heavy chain connected to the ferry's anchor in an attempt to prevent the Turkish vessel from leaving.
Another group of about 80 migrants is expected to leave the island later in the day.
Greek authorities say the migrants deported had not applied for asylum in the European Union. The EU announced earlier this week that it would give all migrants facing deportation a chance to apply for asylum before being sent back to Turkey.