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Biden: U.S. Backs Iraq In Anbar Battle

A helicopter flies over Anbar Province during Iraqi military air strikes.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says the United States continues to support Iraq in its fight against Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The White House says Biden spoke by telephone on January 26 with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

On January 26, car bombings and shootings killed 13 people across Iraq.

Meanwhile, clashes between security forces and Al-Qaeda-linked militants continued in the western province of Anbar.

Iraq's Al-Qaeda branch, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has taken over parts of the Anbar capital Ramadi and controls the center of the nearby city of Fallujah.

Biden commended Maliki's government for its efforts to integrate tribal forces fighting Al-Qaeda into Iraqi security forces, and to provide compensation for those injured and killed fighting the militants.

Since breaking out around the new year, the conflict in Anbar has left hundreds of casualties and forced tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Based on AP and Reuters reporting