In Iraq, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, upbeat on Mosul

Kushner was on the second day of a trip to Iraq as the guest of Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the United States military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kushner is traveling with Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It comes as Trump is examining ways to accelerate a USA -led coalition campaign that US and Iraqi officials say has so far been largely successful in uprooting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Gen. Dunford told reporters en route to Iraq the invitation extended to the White House officials, which was only revealed Sunday, was to provide the White House "first-hand and unfiltered" assessment of the US -led campaign against Islamic State.

This is the first trip to Iraq for Kushner who is the president's son-in-law and one of his senior advisors, as well as Thomas P. Bossert, Trump's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism. The incident renewed concern about civilian deaths in the wake of the US-led air campaign against ISIS.

Late Sunday evening it was reported, via The New York Times, that Kushner was traveling to Iraq with with Dunford.

While the new strategy remains under White House review, US and coalition commanders on the ground are already looking past the looming endgame in Mosul and Raqqa. He was expected to have a major role in meetings later this week between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's winter retreat in Palm Beach, Florida.

American forces are assisting the Iraqi government in recapturing Mosul from the Islamic State, who gained worldwide attention when it took the northern city in 2014.

Iraqi security forces are engaged in fierce, house-to-house fighting in Mosul. Iraqi government forces are slogging their way through Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in deadly house-to-house fighting to liberate the city from ISIS.

Almost 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the UN. It's unclear why Kushner came along for the trip, and not Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who hasn't visited the country yet. The U.S. Justice Department has announced an appeal.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington, DC.

Vanessa Coleman

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