Published time: 20 Apr, 2017 16:06
The US has approved the sale of $295.6 million worth of military equipment for Kurdish Peshmerga artillery and infantry units in Iraq, a Pentagon agency has announced, adding that the sale is intended to support the country’s fight against Islamic State.
“The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of the equipment necessary to fully outfit two full Peshmerga Regional Brigades of light infantry, as well as the equipment necessary to outfit two artillery battalions that will ultimately provide support to those regional brigades,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a Wednesday press release.
The requested equipment includes 4,400 M16A4 rifles, 46 M2 50-caliber machine guns, 186 M240B machine guns, 36 M1151 Humvees, 77 M1151 up-armored Humvees, and 12 three-kilowatt Tactical Quiet Generator sets.
Thirty-six refurbished M119A2 105mm howitzers are also on the list, along with spare parts, training, and equipment for the aforementioned vehicles.
Medical and radiological gear, ambulances, and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles are also mentioned in the press release, among other equipment.
According to the DSCA, the proposed sale will “contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States, by supporting Iraq’s capacity to degrade and defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).”
The agency’s press release also stressed that the proposed sale would not require the deployment of additional US government or contract personnel in Iraq.
The sale was green-lighted by the US State Department on Tuesday, and Congress was notified of the approval on the same day.
However, the notice does not indicate the sale has been concluded, according to DSCA.
The proposed deal marks the second sale of military hardware to be approved for Iraq under the Trump administration, according to Defense News.
The newest proposal brings the total amount of foreign military sales approved by the State Department in fiscal year 2017 to $48,857,700. The record, which was set in 2012, is $68.6 billion.