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Kerry says US sacrifices, partnership with Baghdad are why military action considered in Iraq

The U.S. is citing its years of fighting in Iraq as a reason for considering new military action to battle a growing insurgency there but not in neighboring Syria's civil war.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday also said Iraq has a legitimate government that has asked the U.S. for help as part of a longtime partnership.

Kerry was in London speaking at a conference on combating sexual violence in conflict zones. But how to quell the swift and violent insurgency in Iraq was a top topic in a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Kerry said the Sunni insurgency is a threat not only to Iraq's majority Shiite population but also to U.S. interests and the Mideast.

He said the U.S. is laser focused on helping Iraq.