WASHINGTON: 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 IS group advance.
The phone call took place after IS 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 IS group, the White House said that Biden reaffirmed “continued US 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.
IS has threatened to take control of Ramadi for months.
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.