MESOP : US Donates $17.9m of Military Equipment to Iraq / 232 Hellfire missiles and 250 MRAPS among the cache

Basnews | Luke Coleman – 25 Feb 2015 – PENTAGON – Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren yesterday told reporters that as part of a large shipment of weapons to Iraq, 250 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles were delivered to the central government on 4th January, and were followed by 232 Hellfire missiles on 15th February. 200 Harris vehicle-mounted radios will be shipped next month for the MRAPs.It is part of a $17.9m Foreign Military Sales Program, which has also sent thousands of pieces of Kevlar body armour.

The announcement comes as Warren said that Islamic State (IS) is being pushed back by Iraqi and Kurdish forces supported by international coalition air strikes, “There is no organization in the world that can suffer those kinds of casualties and not have a tremendous impact on their ability to achieve their long-term aims.” The remainder of the package will arrive in the next few weeks. “We expect 10,000 M-16 rifles, along with 10,000 M-68 close-combat optical red-dot sights [and] 23,000 magazines to be delivered [this week].” Warren said that the speed with which the order was expedited is highly unusual, “This was a $17.9 million case. It was an expedited delivery, which took 22 days from the time of signature – a letter of authorisation – until delivery. This is less than a quarter of the time it normally takes to execute these types of deliveries.” The US has been at the forefront of the international coalition supporting Iraqi federal and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against IS. Air strikes, military training and equipment, and humanitarian aid has been received from Western nations including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Canada. Middle Eastern support has come from Jordan, UAE, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.