- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2014

A top White House official spent the past four days in Iraq meeting with Iraqi and United Nations officials about the fight against the Islamic State, administration officials announced Thursday.

Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken’s visit, revealed only as it came to an end, included stops in Baghdad, Dohuk and Erbil.

The trip comes as the White House faces increased criticism of its strategy to beat back the Islamic State — also known as ISIL or ISIS — which controls a large swath of territory across Syria and Iraq.

Mr. Blinken’s comprehensive discussions in Iraq covered the full range of issues at stake in our cooperation with the Iraqi government and people in the fight against ISIL,” National Security Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said. “He expressed appreciation for the government of Iraq’s progress in forming an inclusive government and in resolving political differences so that the strongest possible force is brought to bear against ISIL.”

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