BAGHDAD—Iraq's prime minister says he will seek help in combating his country's insurgency and ways to accelerate U.S. arms shipments during his visit to Washington.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said as he departed Tuesday that he is looking for security cooperation in order to curb the threat of "terrorism" in the region.

He urged the administration of President Barack Obama to speed up the process of arming Iraqi security forces with offensive weapons, such as helicopters, that Baghdad claims are urgently needed to confront insurgent groups.

Violence has spiked in Iraq since April, with over 5,000 people killed, and al-Qaida's local branch appears stronger than it has been in years.