Biden calls Iraqi leaders amid sectarian violence

Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his frequent parliamentary critic, in a show of US concern about escalating, al-Qaeda-linked violence in Iraq two years after the US pulled out of the Mideast country.


As al-Maliki was urging residents of the city of Fallujah to expel al-Qaeda fighters or face all-out battle, Biden lent his support to Iraq's fight against the local al-Qaeda branch, and said he was concerned about those suffering from terrorism. He spoke positively about recent cooperation between Iraq's military and tribal forces in Anbar, on the Syrian border, where al-Qaeda fighters are among the most formidable trying to topple President Bashar Assad. (AP)