U.S. State Dept. Approves Largest Sale Ever of Hellfire Missiles to Iraq
In the wake of insurgents capturing huge sections of Iraqi territory, the Obama administration has given the green light to selling the largest order of Hellfire missiles to date to the Baghdad regime.
After getting approval from the State Department, the Department of Defense announced this week that it is considering shipping 5,000 of the air-to-surface missiles, which the Iraqi air force can fire from jets as well as propeller-driven aircraft, such as the Iraqi Cessna Caravan.
The deal is valued at about $700 million, which is good news for the Hellfire’s maker, Lockheed Martin.
The Iraqi military welcomed the news after it used up its supply of 300 of the missiles in June while fighting Islamic militants in the northern and western parts of Iraq.
But human rights advocates were dismayed by the deal. They have accused the Iraqi military of launching indiscriminate airstrikes in rebel territories, and have called on the U.S. to cease its assistance to Baghdad until it complies with international law.
To Learn More:
U.S. Close to Sending Largest Ever Hellfire Missile Order to Iraq (by Dan Lamothe, Washington Post)
Iraq Still Using Barrel Bombs on Civilian Areas, Human Rights Group Says (by Dan Lamothe, Washington Post)
Press Release (Defense Security Cooperation Agency)
Forgotten by Most Americans, Iraq is Still a Source of Profits for U.S. Weapons Makers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Jane Fonda Can Relax; U.S. Probably Won’t Target Her with Hellfire Missile (by Ken Broder, AllGov)
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