Washington: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reassured US support for Iraq's anti-Islamic State (IS) efforts during a phone conversation with newly appointed Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al Obeidi.
Hagel emphasised on the importance of rebuilding the Iraqi security forces in a way that builds trust and confidence among the armed forces and the Iraqi people.
"The minister was quite clear on more than one occasion that he has every intention of going on the offence against (IS) and making sure that the Iraqi security forces are properly resourced, trained and equipped to do that," Xinhua quoted Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby as saying in the statement.
Kirby added the two leaders also discussed ways to prepare Iraqi security forces for upcoming offensives against IS, noting that al Obeidi expressed his appreciation for US advisors and airstrikes.
Hagel and al Obeidi promised to continue to work closely together to pursue mutual security objectives, Kirby said, adding that Iraq's defence minister seeks to ensure that the country's security forces represent the interests of all its citizens.
"He wants an inclusive army that's representative of the population of Iraq and defends every inch of Iraq," the official said.