Kurdistan Regional Government President Massud Barzani (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry talk before a meeting at the presidential palace in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on June 24, 2014.
Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq's northeastern city of Erbil early Tuesday where met with local leaders to discuss how to deal with Islamist militants sweeping parts of the country. Erbil is the capital of the country's Kurdish region and just 50 miles from Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city that was overrun by the brutal al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
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"Everybody knows this is a very critical time for Iraq as a whole," Kerry told reporters after meeting with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. Kurdish peshmerga troops have been key in the battle against ISIS along the region's border with areas held by the militants. Kerry's visit came a day after he went to the Baghdad and pledged U.S. support for Iraqi security forces.