U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced $200 million in additional humanitarian aid for Iraq and emphasized the recovery of territory that was formerly controlled by the jihadist Islamic State in that country.
Obama welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to the Oval Office to discuss, among other things, the development of the military campaign against the IS in the Middle Eastern country.
After the meeting, the president emphasized to reporters the figures provided by the Pentagon showing that, since the start of the military campaign in mid-March, 25 percent of the territory controlled by the jihadists in Iraq has been recovered.
The air strikes by the U.S.-led international coalition have enabled friendly forces to gain control of the Syrian cities of Kobani and Tal Hamis, as well as to move forward with the progressive encirclement in Iraq of Sinjar, Tal Afar, Mosul and Baiji, which are still under IS control.
The Pentagon says that the advances against the IS have been possible thanks to the combination of coalition air strikes and the ground offensive by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
The Pentagon calculates that the IS has lost control of between 13,000 and 17,000 square kilometers (5,000 and about 6,500 square miles) of territory from its point of maximum expansion in August 2014.
Before traveling to Washington, the Iraqi premier said that the aim of his meeting with Obama was to secure more political and military support for the fight against the jihadists.