Kerry: ‘We won’t stand by over the IS threat’

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US secretary of state John Kerry has said neither the United States nor the rest of the world will stand by and watch the Islamic State militant group spread its evil.

Mr Kerry was in Baghdad to meet Iraq’s new leaders and pledge US support for eliminating the extremist group and the threat it poses.

He said President Barack Obama would later outline in specific detail what steps the US is prepared to take to defeat the Islamic State, which has overrun parts of northern Iraq and Syria.

Mr Kerry did not reveal Mr Obama’s plans. But he predicted a coalition of at least 40 nations ultimately will eliminate the Islamic State.

With a new Iraqi government finally in place and a growing Middle East consensus on defeating insurgent threats, Mr Kerry pressed Iraq’s Shia leader to quickly deliver more power to wary Sunnis – or jeopardise any hope of defeating the Islamic State group.

Mr Kerry landed in the Iraqi capital just two days after newly sworn in prime minister Haider Abadi seated his top government ministers, a crucial step towards restoring stability in a nation where security has spiralled out of control.

As Mr Kerry and Mr Abadi were meeting, two car bombs exploded simultaneously in the south-eastern neighbourhood of New Baghdad, killing 13 people.

The trip marks the first high-level US meeting with Mr Abadi since he became prime minister, and it aimed to symbolise the Obama administration’s support for Iraq.