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US defense chief: Cooperation with Iraq important

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Politics
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The US has deployed about 3,000 military personnel to train Iraqi troops. The country says it has trained about 11,000, including Kurdish units

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has stressed the importance of US-Iraq cooperation to defeat the Islamic State militant group.

Carter made the remark in a meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday during Carter's first visit to the country since taking the post in February.

They exchanged views on the current situation of fighting against the militants. Carter stressed the importance of improving Iraqi ground troops' ability to defeat the group, and pledged continued US support.

The US has deployed about 3,000 military personnel to train Iraqi troops. The country says it has trained about 11,000, including Kurdish units.

Islamic State militants seized the city of Ramadi in Anbar Province in May. Reinforcement of ground forces is believed necessary to recapture the city. But observers say no effective solution has emerged to change the situation.

The US has failed to implement its training of Iraqi troops as quickly as initially planned. Iraqi troops say they're worried about a lack of weapons and other equipment.