Pentagon Moves to Speed Iraq ISR and Strike Aid

The Defense Department will speed up the delivery of military aid to Iraq, specifically key assets such as air-to-ground missiles and aircraft, as fighting between Al Qaeda affiliated groups, Sunni tribes, and Iraqi government forces grows more acute in Anbar Province. DOD officials say they are committed to supporting the Iraqi government in its efforts to combat resurgent Al Qaeda groups, however, the US will not send uniformed military personnel back to the country. Pentagon Spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said an additional 100 Hellfire missiles are slated for delivery this spring, noting the weapons already have been effective at targeting Al Qaeda operatives in Anbar. In the last year, the US also has delivered six C-130 aircraft the Iraqis, 27 helicopters, as well as other assets. In addition, the US plans to expedite delivery of 10 ScanEagle remotely piloted aircraft, with delivery expected this spring, as well as an additional 48 Raven RPAs, to aid in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts.