Biden: US Standing in 'Solidarity' With Iraq Government

Image: Biden: US Standing in 'Solidarity' With Iraq Government

Friday, 13 Jun 2014 09:58 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The United States is ready to "intensify and accelerate security" and stands in "solidarity" with Iraq after Islamic militants seized two of the country's large cities, Vice President Joe Biden told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in a telephone call Thursday.

"The prime minister discussed Iraq’s current security situation, and the vice president made clear that the United States is prepared to continue to intensify and accelerate security support and cooperation with Iraq, under the Strategic Framework Agreement, to confront the urgent and growing threat," The Hill quoted a White House statement as saying.

The White House didn't say whether Biden offered airstrikes to target the rebel groups, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda affiliate, as Al-Maliki has repeatedly requested.

According to reports, thousands of civilians are fleeing as the militants took control of military installations and the government in Mosul and Tikrit.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama threatened U.S. military strikes in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north to menace Baghdad and want to establish their own state in Iraq and Syria.

The United States has already spent $15 billion for training and military hardware, including weapons and planes, for al-Maliki's army,The Independent reported

On Wednesday, the White House said it will continue to provide and increase assistance to the Iraq's government to "sustainably stop Isil's efforts to wreak havoc in Iraq and the region."

Al-Maliki began asking for aerial support against the insurgents as early as last year, including using U.S. drone strikes against rebel camps, but did not receive commitment from the United States.

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