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US plans largest ever sale of Hellfire missiles to Iraq

US Army armament crew specialist loads the rocket pod of an an Apache AH-64D attack helicopter also armed with Hellfire missiles in the central Iraqi desert on March 31, 2003The United States plans to sell 5,000 Hellfire missiles to Iraq in a $700 million deal, officials said Tuesday, as Washington tries to help Baghdad retake ground captured by Sunni militants. The US government, which has been reluctant so far to take military action in support of Baghdad, has rushed hundreds of the missiles to Iraq to help the Shiite-led government counter jihadists, who have seized areas north and west of the capital. The deal calls for 5,000 AGM-114K/N/R Hellfire missiles and related equipment, parts, training and logistical support worth a total of $700 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement Tuesday. “Iraq will use the Hellfire missiles to help improve the Iraq Security Forces’ capability to support current on-going ground operations,” the agency said.

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