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U.S. hails its efforts to destroy Iraqi weapons, yet promises to send more missiles

By staff |
December 26, 2013
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Washington D.C. - According to widespread media reports, the U.S. is sending Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to the government of Iraq. The arms shipments come amidst growing turmoil in Iraq.

In an odd, but related, development, the U.S. State Department issued a statement Dec. 26 praising U.S. efforts to destroy conventional weapons in Iraq. The State Department describes the destroyed weapons as “ranging from pistols to 120mm mortars.” While some of the destroyed weapons are landmines, the State Department claimed credit for destroying “more than 135,430 pieces of unexploded ordnance and abandoned or otherwise at-risk munitions.”

Increased arms shipments and the efforts to destroy weapons come in the context of the weakening of Iraq’s central government as areas of the country slip beyond its control.

In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq, removed the independent government of Saddam Hussein from power, and established a puppet regime. Deeply unpopular, U.S. influence and that of its supporters is declining. The result is that more weapons are finding their way into the hands of opponents of Iraq’s regime. The U.S. is trying to combat them by speeding up arms shipments to Iraq’s central government.