WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Sunday voiced support for Iraq's ongoing efforts to combat an al-Qaida affiliate as the group has taken control of a big city in the western province of Anbar.
In a conversation with Iraqi National Security Advisor Faleh al- Fayyad over the phone, Anthony Blinken, a deputy American national security advisor to President Barack Obama, expressed U.S. support for government operations in Anbar to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), commonly known as al-Qaida in Iraq.
ISIL fighters seized both Fallujah and Ramadi, the provincial capital, Wednesday, the first since the American troops withdrew in late 2011. The Iraqi security forces have retaken Ramadi.
Al-Fayyad affirmed the Iraqi government's commitment to work with both local and national leaders to "isolate ISIL from the population" and respond to the "urgent needs" of the Iraqi people in areas affected by terrorism, the White House said in a statement.
It said both Blinken and al-Fayyad confirmed U.S.-Iraq security partnership and the need for greater cooperation among Iraq's neighboring countries to combat regional terrorist threats.
Washington rushed weapons, including 75 Hellfire missiles, to Iraq last month to help the government cope with growing violence in the country, as more than 8,000 Iraqis were killed last year, the deadliest since 2008.