U.S. sends Ukraine seized Iranian-made weapons | EUROtoday

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The Pentagon has supplied Ukraine with 1000’s of Iranian-made weapons seized earlier than they might attain Houthi militants in Yemen, U.S. officers stated Tuesday. It’s the Biden administration’s newest infusion of emergency army help for Kyiv whereas a multibillion-dollar help bundle stays stalled within the Republican-led House.

The weapons embrace 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles, machine weapons, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, together with a half-million rounds of ammunition. They have been seized from 4 “stateless vessels” between 2021 and 2023 and made obtainable for switch to Ukraine by way of a Justice Department civil forfeiture program focusing on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, based on U.S. Central Commandwhich oversees army operations within the Middle East.

Officials stated Iran supposed to provide the weapons to the Houthis, who’ve staged a months-long assault on business and army vessels transiting off the Arabian Peninsula. Central Command stated the cache is sufficient to provide rifles to a complete Ukrainian brigade, which fluctuate in measurement however sometimes embrace a number of thousand troopers.

The stock record doesn’t embrace artillery ammunition, which is amongst Ukraine’s most dire battlefield wants.

The circuitous provide of weapons to Kyiv comes as Russian forces mount an aggressive push, backed by devastating glide bombs, to seize extra floor in jap Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated his nation’s army, confronted with depleting ammunition shares, is “trying to find some way not to retreat.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who has refused to carry a vote on a Senate-approved nationwide safety bundle that additionally consists of help for U.S.-ally Israel, is predicted to introduce a plan for extra Ukraine help later this month. But he has not stated when the House may vote on it.

The new batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine have been inspected and deemed protected and in working situation, stated a U.S. protection official, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate the switch course of. Ukrainian troops have prior to now voiced frustration over the situation of some U.S.- and Western-provided weapons, which are sometimes from older warehouse shares.

Abigail Hauslohner contributed to this report.