NYT: US Secretly Sends Hellfire Missiles, Drones to Iraq

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Monday, 30 December 2013


nytThe New York Times, US daily, revealed that Washington is moving "dozens" of Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones into Iraq.

According to a report, the decision comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki requested help from US

According to Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the reconnaissance drones aren't likely to turn the tide against the insurgents, considering their small range.
"The real requirement today is for a long-range, high-endurance armed drone capability," Knights said. "There is one place in the world where Al-Qaeda can run a major affiliate without fear of a US drone or air attack, and that is in Iraq and Syria."

For its part, the Obama administration has stated that the current shipment of military supplies will be helpful because Iraq has essentially used up its cache of missiles, has no real air presence, and has little surveillance capability.In the absence of American action, Maliki has purchased MI-35 helicopters from Russia.

"> President Barack Obama during a meeting in Washington last month.

Despite the movement of missiles - 75 Hellfire missiles are being sent to Iraq alongside 10 ScanEagle surveillance drones - some experts believe the US response to be insufficient without the deployment of more powerful military weapons, such as armed drones.

While Iraq's foreign minister suggested an American-run drone operation as a possibility, Maliki - who is likely running for a third term as prime minster - has yet to make such a request.
"We have not received a formal request for US-operated armed drones operating over Iraq, nor are we planning to divert armed I.S.R. over Iraq," Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, told The New York Times.

According to Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the reconnaissance drones aren't likely to turn the tide against the insurgents, considering their small range.
"The real requirement today is for a long-range, high-endurance armed drone capability," Knights said. "There is one place in the world where Al-Qaeda can run a major affiliate without fear of a US drone or air attack, and that is in Iraq and Syria."

For its part, the Obama administration has stated that the current shipment of military supplies will be helpful because Iraq has essentially used up its cache of missiles, has no real air presence, and has little surveillance capability.In the absence of American action, Maliki has purchased MI-35 helicopters from Russia.

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