US President offers Iraq $200M in humanitarian aid

The money will be used to help those displaced by Islamic State militants.

Barack Obama

United States president, Barack Obama has pledged $200M in humanitarian aid to Iraq.

The money will be used to help those displaced by Islamic State militants. He however made no mention of any further military support which the Iraqi prime minister came seeking at the White House.

Obama made the financial commitment during an Oval Office meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

However, when quizzed by a reporter on whether he would provide helicopters, drones or other military support that al-Abadi has requested, Obama only said they are continually improving coordination to make sure Iraqi forces are positioned to succeed against Islamic State militants.

He also said that any foreign assistance must be orchestrated through Iraq's government and be answerable to Iraq's chain of command.

While admitting that the process of pushing back the militant group will be long, Obama said it was crucial for the U.S. to help support families who have been displaced by the militants. He also said al-Abadi's commitment to include all sectarian factions, including Shia, Sunni, Kurd and others, in Iraq's government is critical.

Obama said U.S. coordination with Iraqi forces had improved consistently as Iraq's military has improved, while also stating the importance of U.S air support.

Iraqi Prime Minister, Al-Abadi had told reporters while leaving for Washington that there was need for greater support from the international coalition to "finish" Islamic militants saying that an increase in U.S. airstrikes had helped roll back Islamic State forces.

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