6 January 2014
United States Aids Iraq with Arms to Fight Al-Qaeda-backed insurgency
The United States has sent dozens of Hellfire missiles and low-tech surveillance drones to Iraq to help government forces combat an violence by an Al-Qaeda-backed insurgency that is gaining territory in both western Iraq and Syria. The assistance was requested by the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The New York Times reports that American intelligence and counterterrorism officials say they have effectively mapped the locations and origins of the Al-Qaeda network in Iraq and are sharing this information with the Iraqis.
The Iraqi military has a very limited ability to locate and quickly strike Al-Qaeda militants. The combination of American-supplied Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, tactical drones and intelligence, supplied by the United States, is intended to augment that limited Iraqi ability.