WASHINGTON Jan 6 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday to
express support for Iraq's fight against al Qaeda-linked
militants, a message Biden repeated in another call on Monday
with Osama al-Nujaifi, speaker of the Iraqi Council of
Representatives, the White House said.
"The Vice President expressed concern for those Iraqis who
are suffering at the hands of terrorists and praised the recent
security cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and local and
tribal forces in Anbar province," the White House said in a
The White House said that the United States is accelerating
its deliveries of military equipment to Iraq to help the country
fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The affiliate of the international al Qaeda network has been
tightening its grip on the country's Anbar province, and last
week captured positions in Ramadi and large parts of Falluja.
The White House said Biden, in his call with Nujaifi,
praised the recent cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and
Sunni local, tribal, and national leaders in the fight against
"The two discussed how best to sustain and deepen recent
cooperation between Sunni communities and the Iraqi government,"
the White House said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the
United States would step up its deliveries of missiles and
surveillance drones to Iraq.
"We're working closely with the Iraqis to develop a holistic
strategy to isolate the al Qaeda-affiliated groups, and we have
seen some early successes in Ramadi," Carney said in a briefing.
"This situation remains fluid, and it's too early to tell or
make conclusions about it. But we're accelerating our foreign
military sales deliveries," he said.
As part of that effort, the United States is looking to
provide additional shipments of Hellfire missiles to Iraq as
early as this spring, Carney said, as well 10 ScanEagle
surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in upcoming weeks
and 48 Raven surveillance UAVs later this year to help Iraq
track insurgent groups.
The United States also delivered three Bell IA-407
helicopters to Iraq in December, bringing total helicopter sales
and deliveries to the country to 30, Carney said.