U.S. weapons ‘expedited’ to Iraq amid ISIS advance

In this Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 photo, a Shiite militia fighter aims his weapon with the Iraqi flag in the background. (AP)

The United States is sending "continued and expedited" weapons to Iraq, Vice President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday, amid a major ISIS advance.

The phone call took place after ISIS extremists seized a government compound in the city of Ramadi earlier in the day, edging closer to what would be their biggest victory in Iraq this year.

Biden thanked Abadi "for his steadfast leadership in Iraq and for promoting national unity at a time of significant security challenges, including today's ISIL attack on Ramadi," a White House statement said, using an alternative acronym for the militant group.

The White House said that Biden reaffirmed "continued U.S. support for the Iraqi government's ongoing efforts to defeat ISIL."

"The vice president assured the prime minister of continued and expedited US security assistance to confront ISIL," the White House added, including heavy weaponry, ammunition and supplies for Iraqi forces.

ISIS has threatened to take control of Ramadi for months. Militants raised their black flag over the local government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Friday and claimed victory through mosque loudspeakers after overrunning most of the western provincial capital.

The insurgents attacked Ramadi overnight using six suicide car bombs to reach the city center, where the Anbar governorate compound dis located, police sources said.

The loss of the city, which Abadi has said would be the next target of government forces after wresting back Tikrit last month, would be a major setback.
 

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Last Update: 04:15 KSA 07:15 - GMT 04:15
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