January 22, 2015 / 4:58 PM / 3 years ago

Islamic State momentum halted or reversed in Iraq: Kerry

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Islamic State’s momentum in Iraq had been halted or reversed and that U.S. weapons for government forces would be arriving very shortly.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement during a meeting with coalition members to discuss the threat of Islamic State (IS), at Lancaster House in London January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

“In recent months we have seen definitively ... momentum halted in Iraq and in some cases reversed,” Kerry told a London news conference after a meeting of the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS.

“Ground forces supported by nearly 2,000 air strikes now have reclaimed some 700 square kilometers,” he said, adding that Iraqi forces would be getting lots of U.S.-made M16 rifles “very, very shortly.”

“There is an (arms) pipeline here, and it is working,” he said.

Reporting by Warren Strobel and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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