Obama, at the U N , Cites Iraq Gains and Urges Steady Nerves at Home مميزة

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UNITED NATIONS — President Obama came face to face on Monday with the conundrum of his war against the Islamic State: Even as he claimed gains in retaking territory from the militants in Iraq, he had to steady nerves after a stabbing rampage inspired by them in the United States.

On his first day at the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Obama’s most important diplomatic encounter was with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq, with whom he discussed an impending offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Mr. Obama said that the positioning of Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters around Mosul meant that Iraq and the American-led coalition could “move forward fairly rapidly.” Mr. Abadi predicted that the militants could be driven out of the city in the next two months.

But those confident assessments were eclipsed by Saturday’s stabbings in St. Cloud, Minn., and bombings in New York and New Jersey. Before meeting with Mr. Abadi, Mr. Obama made a hastily scheduled appearance at his hotel in Midtown Manhattan to urge Americans not to be cowed by terrorists.

“It’s important to remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do,” he said. “They are trying to hurt innocent people, but they also want to inspire fear in all of us.”

“We all have a role to play as citizens in making sure that we don’t succumb to that fear,” he added.

Hours later, sitting across from the Iraqi leader, Mr. Obama hailed the police for the quick arrest of a suspect in the New York bombing, Ahmad Khan Rahami. The president also said he had called the off-duty police officer who shot and killed the 22-year-old assailant in Minnesota, who was described by a news agency close to the Islamic State as a “soldier” for the group.

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