White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Washington - The US government said Monday it would speed up the delivery of military equipment to Iraq, following recent gains made by Islamist militants in the west of the country. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Iraqi security forces would receive more air-to-surface Hellfire missiles, as well as more reconnaissance drones. Ten drones would be delivered in the coming weeks, and another 48 in the course of the year, Carney said. Reports on Monday said al-Qaeda affiliated fighters had taken control of Fallujah, a key city in Anbar province, and large areas of the provincial capital Ramadi. The White House said US Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday to assure him of continuing US support for the Baghdad government in its fight against the Islamist insurgency. -Sapa-dpa