Kerry arrives in Irbil for talks with Kurdish leaders

US Secretary of State arrived in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region Tuesday for talks with its president Massoud Barzani, as ISIS finally took control of the big northern oil refinery in Baiji. The Kurds last week seized on the chaos caused by the Islamist inroads to expand their northern territory to include the oil-rich city of Kirkuk after government troops fled. Barzani has joined calls for Nouri al-Maliki to quit as Iraqi prime minister, blaming his wrong policies for the crisis. Kerry’s main mission is to drum up wide support for his replacement and persuade him to step down.

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