U.S. Loses Track of $500 Million Worth of Weapons in Yemen, Including Drones, Helicopters and 1.2 Million Rounds of Ammo
Gone with the collapse of Yemen’s government is half a billion dollars worth of American military equipment and weapons provided to the former regime.
The Department of Defense says it can’t say for sure what happened to $500 million in aid the U.S. military gave to Yemen after Shiite Houthi rebels toppled the government. The assistance covers a wide range of weaponry, aircraft and equipment—enough to equip a small army of rebels. Unaccounted for are 1.25 million rounds of ammunition, 200 Glock pistols, 200 M-4 rifles, 160 Humvees, four Huey helicopters, four small drones, one transport and surveillance plane and other equipment.
Defense officials have met privately with members of Congress and key staffers to inform them about the problem. “We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” a legislative aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post.
The Shiite Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, “have taken over many Yemeni military bases in the northern part of the country, including some in Sana’a that were home to U.S.-trained counter-terrorism units. Other bases have been overrun by fighters from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” the Post’s Craig Whitlock reported.
The lost munitions only add to Yemen’s arms culture. The Middle Eastern country has “the second-highest gun ownership rate in the world, ranking behind only the United States, and its bazaars are well stocked with heavy weaponry,” according to Whitlock.
To Learn More:
Pentagon Loses Track of $500 Million in Weapons, Equipment Given to Yemen (by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post)
Military Weapons Given to Police have Gone Missing (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
Thousands of U.S. Weapons Provided to Afghan Forces Are Unaccounted For (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
U.S.-Led Military Unit in Afghanistan Lost $230 Million in Spare Parts, Then Spent $138 Million for More (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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