By John Lee.
In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the United States has donated 250 mine-resistant, armor-protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Iraqi Government.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, commented:
“The number one threat to the Iraqi security forces are roadside bombs and vehicle-borne bombs…These MRAP vehicles provide increased ballistic and counter mine protection for Iraqi security forces ...
"These vehicles will save Iraqi lives and enable Iraqi security forces to win the fight against ISIL.”
The United States continues to accelerate delivery of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition to Iraq consistent with our Strategic Framework Agreement and long-term security partnership. U.S. military equipment deliveries and training are in response to Iraqi requests and support a counter-terrorism policy that incorporates political, economic, and security cooperation.
In the areas of security assistance, it is essential that the ISF are equipped with modern and effective weaponry to combat the serious threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to Iraq and the region.
The United States is committed to supporting the Iraqi government and security forces combat the threat of ISIL and protect the Iraqi population. During 2014, the United States provided $300 million to the Government of Iraq for equipment for soldiers (12,000 sets of body armor, Kevlar helmets, medical kits), counter-IED equipment, vehicle maintenance and sustainment, and tank and helicopter maintenance training.
In addition to the grant of the MRAPs, the United States supplied transportation and six-months maintenance for the 250 MRAPs, and 10,000 M16A2 rifles (to be delivered in early 2015). These deliveries were in response to Iraqi government requests, and were the latest in a series of deliveries bringing critical supplies to Iraq.
Under the Strategic Framework Agreement, the U.S. Embassy works closely with the Government of Iraq on security assistance and cooperation to support Iraq's continued development as a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant strategic partner in the campaign to degrade and defeat ISIL and to contribute to peace and security in the region.
(Source: Embassy of the United States)
(Picture: U.S. Donated MRAPs en route from Kuwait to Iraq)