U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq today meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a show of support. “This is obviously a very critical time here in Iraq,” Kerry said. Abadi is currently caught in a fight between political elites trying to maintain control of the cabinet and a populist movement that supports his shift toward non-partisan technocrats. The country has also been hit hard by declines in oil prices, which have increased Iraq’s fiscal deficit. Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are making steady gains against the Islamic State and today reached the city center in Hit, though fighting continues in some neighborhoods.

Kerry traveled to Iraq from Bahrain, where yesterday he called on Iran to play a more constructive role in resolving conflicts in Yemen and Syria. The United States and Russia are discussing a framework for a revised constitution for Syria, Bloomberg reports, though those conversations are in early stages.