To show its continued support to the Iraqi forces against their ongoing campaign against terrorism, the United States has sent 100 Hellfire missiles and other ammunition to Iraq, officials of the U.S. Embassy to Iraq announced on Sunday.
According to the Embassy’s official statement, the shipment was sent earlier this month with the purpose of reinforcing the Iraqi Security Forces who are currently battling al-Qaeda splinter group ISIL or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The statement also expressed the U.S. government’s intention to send more weapons to Iraq within the next several weeks because of its belief in the importance of having “modern and effective weaponry” in facing the potential danger that the ISIL can bring to Iraq and the region. According to Embassy officials, the U.S. has already given the Iraqi security forces thousands of assault rifles, grenades, machine guns, sniper rifles, as well as more than 11 million rounds of ammunition since mid-January.
The Associated Press reported that militant positions in the war-torn province of Al Anbar are frequently targeted by Iraqi warplanes, which use Hellfire missiles to eliminate the camps. For the past couple of months, Iraq’s western cities have experienced intense clashes between the combined forces of the Iraqi government and their allies from the Sunni militia, and militant groups associated with al-Qaeda along with other insurgents. The rebel groups hold the city of Fallujah and parts of Al Anbar capital of Ramadi.
In a related story, two police officials – who spoke on condition of anonymity – reported that a suicide bomber allegedly crashed his explosive-filled car into a joint security area near Ramadi on Sunday. The explosion killed three police officers and two soldiers. Another casualty involved a car bomb that went off in the southeastern region of Baghdad. Four people were reported killed on the spot, and surrounding shops and vehicles were also damaged.
The AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
Image via Wikimedia Commons