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US gives Iraq more missiles, guns

BAGHDAD — The United States delivered 100 Hellfire missiles, along with assault rifles and ammunition to Iraq as part of its antiterrorism assistance to the country, the US embassy to Iraq said Sunday.

In a statement, it said the delivery was made earlier this month in order to help bolster Iraq forces fighting a breakaway Al Qaeda group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

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‘‘It is essential that Iraqi Security Forces are equipped with modern and effective weaponry given the serious threat . . . the ISIL now poses to Iraq and the region,’’ said the statement, which also promised to send more weapons to Iraq in the coming weeks.

It added that since mid-January, Iraqi security forces had received more than 11 million rounds of ammunition, as well as thousands of machine guns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, and grenades.

The Iraqi warplanes frequently fire Hellfire missiles at militant positions in the embattled western Anbar province.

Since late December, Iraq’s western cities have seen fierce clashes pitting government security forces and their tribal Sunni militia allies against Al Qaeda-linked militants and other insurgent groups.

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