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US approves $295.6M military equipment sale to Peshmerga

The following article was originally published in Kurdistan24 in April 2017.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The US State Department on Wednesday approved the sale of military equipment to the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces worth USD $295.6 million.

A Pentagon agency announced the US State Department had agreed to a deal worth nearly $300 million in artillery and infantry equipment for Peshmerga forces in the Region.

“The equipment requested by the Iraqi government would outfit two Peshmerga infantry brigades and two support artillery battalions,” according to a statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

“These artillery battalions and infantry brigades will operate under the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga with the concurrence of the central government,” the report added.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Iraq for equipment for two Peshmerga infantry brigades and two support artillery battalions,” the statement explained.

The equipment for the Peshmerga forces includes 4,400 M16A4 rifles, 46 M2 50 caliber machine guns, 186 M240B machine guns, 36 M1151 HMMWVs, 77 M1151 up-armored HMMWVs, and other military, medical, and logistic equipment and vehicles.

The military equipment sale also includes 36 refurbished M119A2 105mm howitzers, as well as spare parts, training, and associated equipment related to the mentioned vehicles and artillery systems.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the statement concluded.

Since the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga have been on the front lines defeating the insurgents.

The former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter previously mentioned the Kurdish forces were the most efficient troops battling IS.

Read this article in Kurdistan24.

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