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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraqi Visits Moscow to Discuss Buildup

BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi official arrived in Moscow on Monday to discuss the U.S. military buildup in the Gulf, the official Iraqi News Agency, or INA, reported.

It said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Riyad Qeisi would conduct talks with officials in Russia's Foreign Ministry on "developments in the current situation [and] the countering of American military threat against Iraq."

Vladimir Titorenko, deputy head of Russia's mission in Iraq, said Sunday that Moscow was trying to defuse tension and prevent yet another military confrontation between Iraq and the United States.

The latest military standoff erupted when Baghdad sent troops Aug. 31 to capture the Kurdish city of Arbil for the pro-government Kurdish rebels of Massoud Barzani.

Russia last week secured an Iraqi pledge to halt firing anti-aircraft missiles against U.S. and allied warplanes patrolling no-fly zones over Iraq.