The United States delivered 100 Hellfire missiles, as well as ammunition and M4 rifles to Iraq as part of its anti-terrorism assistance to the country, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said in a statement Sunday.
According to the statement, the delivery was made earlier in March in an effort to help strengthen Iraq forces combating militant groups, including a breakaway Al-Quaida group known as the Islamic State of Iraq, and the Levant.
The delivery came amid ongoing instability in Sunni Arab areas, particularly western Anbar province, where insurgents have held control of parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi. They have also maintained control of the city of Fallujah since January.
The statement also noted the U.S. promised to send more weapons to Iraq in the coming weeks. It added that, since mid-January, Iraqi security forces received more than eleven million rounds of ammunition, as well as thousands of assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, and grenades.
Iraq is grappling with its worst prolonged period of violence since it emerged from a sectarian war that left tens of thousands dead in 2006-07.
More than 250 people have already been killed this month, according to an AFP tally.
“It is essential that Iraqi Security Forces are equipped with modern and effective weaponry given the serious threat… the ISIL now poses to Iraq and the region,” said the statement.
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