"In the coming weeks and months, the coalition will work with Iraq to turn up the pressure even further," Kerry said. "We will continue targeting and taking out Daesh’s leaders and we will train local forces to take and hold more ground."
Kerry warned during his unannounced trip to the country on Friday that the Iraqi forces would continue to work to "improve every aspect of our capability" against Daesh and would "not be complacent at any point in this campaign."
Washington shares Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s goal of liberating the country’s second largest city Mosul, "as quickly as possible," Kerry added.
In recent weeks, the Obama administration has hinted at further enabling Iraqi forces to retake Mosul from Daesh insurgents. Earlier in March, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon planned to recommend to the US president that more support should be provided to Iraqi security forces to reclaim Mosul.
On Thursday, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky told US media that the US-led coalition was preparing the Iraqi forces to take back Mosul, but expected the mission to be a difficult one.
The Mosul offense comes nearly four months after Iraqi forces in December landed a major victory after they regained control over most parts of Ramadi, the capital of the western Iraqi Anbar province, which had been occupied by Daesh since last May.