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US accelerates delivery of weapons, ammunition to Iraq

English.news.cn   2014-03-17 04:23:04

BAGHDAD, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States continues to accelerate delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq, with nearly 100 Hellfire missiles and other armaments having been delivered this month, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said on Sunday.

"Earlier this month, the United States delivered nearly 100 Hellfire missiles together with hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and M4 rifles," the embassy said in a statement.

It said 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.

"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 U.S. mission said.

According to the statement, since mid-January, more than 11 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.

The embassy said 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."

These deliveries came as Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.

Editor: yan
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