US defence chief visits Baghdad

Baghdad, Feb 20 (IANS) US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Monday arrived here in Iraq on an official visit.

Mattis’ visit came as Iraqi forces are trying to clear Islamic State (IS) militants from its major stronghold in the western side of Mosul, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Defense Secretary will meet top Iraqi officials and military commanders to discuss bilateral relations and the offensive against the IS group in Mosul.

Hundreds of US troops are already in Iraq, serving as trainers and advisers, to help the country win the battle against the IS.

A US-led international coalition has been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.