US Delivers Critical Arms to Iraq

The United States continues to accelerate delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq consistent with our Strategic Framework Agreement and long-term security partnership. These deliveries are made in response to specific Iraqi requests and pursuant to a holistic counter-terrorism policy that incorporates political, economic, and security measures.

On the security side, it is essential that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are equipped with modern and effective weaponry given the serious threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) now poses to Iraq and the region.

The United States is determined to help the ISF respond to this threat and protect the population in coordination with local leaders and tribes. Earlier this month, the United States delivered nearly 100 Hellfire missiles together with hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and M4 rifles.

These deliveries addressed a critical assessment of needs conducted jointly by Iraq and U.S. security experts, and were the latest in a series of deliveries bringing critical supplies to Iraq.

Since mid-January, more than eleven million rounds of ammunition, thousands of machine guns, sniper rifles, M16s and M4 rifles, thousands of flares, grenades and other weapons have been delivered to the ISF. Additional deliveries are scheduled in coming weeks, pursuant to the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program with attendant transparency and accountability measures.

The United States looks forward to working closely with Iraqi leaders and military commanders to determine and address additional critical equipment needs over the coming weeks. We will also continue to encourage all Iraqi leaders to work together to effectively implement the holistic counter-terrorism strategy in Anbar province, as reflected in the Council of Ministers February 18 program – with a focus on mobilizing the population against ISIL and other extremist groups.

(Source: Embassy of the United States)

(M16 image via Shutterstock)

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