WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff has expressed his disappointment with situation in Iraq after U.S. troops pulled out in 2011, U.S. military press reported on Friday.
Iraq has failed "to take advantage of what we gave them," said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, according to American Forces Press Service.
The images of al-Qaida affiliates raising their flags in the embattled city of Fallujah trigger "the same thing that runs through any veterans' mind who served there, which is disappointment," Dempsey said.
The situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011. Suicide bombing have become more frequent and Iraqi government statistics indicate that about 8,000 Iraqis were killed in 2013.
Fighting in Anbar province intensified at the end of 2013, and the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant, an al-Qaida affiliated group in Iraq, took control of Fallujah and made inroads in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.
"I wouldn't give up on Iraq yet though," Dempsey said. "It's a little premature to declare that this conflict in Ramadi and Fallujah portends the collapse of the state of Iraq or an irreversible setback."
Iraqi security forces are credible and remain tough despite challenges of logistics and command and control, the top U.S. general said.
In a separate report, American Forces Press Service said the U. S. Defense Department is preparing small arms and ammunition for shipment to Iraq in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The Obama administration is speeding up weapons deliveries to the Iraqi government to help combat an al-Qaida affiliate making inroads both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Washington rushed 75 Hellfire missiles and other weaponry to Baghdad in recent months to help the government cope with growing violence in the country.