U.S. plan to arm Sunni tribal fighters in Iraq to fight Islamic State group in Anbar province 241114
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Defence & Security News - Iraq
|Monday, November 24, 2014 09:06 AM|
|U.S. plan to arm Sunni tribal fighters in Iraq to fight Islamic State group in Anbar province.|
Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group focused their offensive Sunday, November 23, 2014, on the city of Ramadi, backed by Sunni tribal fighters that the U.S. plans to arm. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered more aerial support and weapons for both soldiers and Sunni militiamen battling the Islamic State group in Anbar province, where Ramadi is the provincial capital.
Members of the Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters take part in an intensive security deployment after clashes with Islamic State militants in Saadiya, Diyala province November 23, 2014. (Credit Reuters/Stringer)
The U.S. and Iraqi governments have been working to woo Sunni tribesmen to support the fight, proposing the establishment of a national guard program that will include arming and paying loyal tribesmen.
The Pentagon plans to buy a range of arms for Iraq's tribesmen, including 5,000 AK-47s, 50 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 12,000 grenades and 50 82 mm mortars. The arms supply, described in a document that will be sent to Congress of its approval, said the estimated cost to equip an initial Anbar-based force of tribal fighters is $18.5 million, part of a $1.6 billion request to Congress that includes arming and training Iraqi and Kurdish forces.