AThe munitions were sent at a time when continued US financial support for Kyiv’s fight to defend itself remains in question.
And while Ukraine will use 7.62 mm ammunition seized from Iran in the fight against Russia, Iran has supplied Russia with the Shahed 136 drones that Russian forces used in Ukraine against civilian and military targets.
The 7.62mm round is the standard round for Soviet-era Kalashnikov assault rifles and many similar ones. Ukraine, as a former Soviet republic, still relies on Kalashnikovs for many of its units.
The ammunition was seized by Central Command’s naval forces in December from a ship that the command described as a “stateless boat”, a traditional wooden sailing ship, which was being used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to support the Houthis in the war. civil rights in Yemen, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.
After a war that lasted nearly a decade, a fragile ceasefire is in place, but Iran continues to provide lethal aid to the Houthis, Lieutenant General Alexus G. Grynkewich, head of the US Central Air Forces, told reporters today.
Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich, head of the US Central Air Forces, told reporters today that this constituted a major threat to Yemen finding lasting peace.
US Central Command said the US “obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023, through Department of Justice civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
The US Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet and its allies have intercepted numerous ships believed to be carrying weapons and ammunition from Iran and heading to Yemen in support of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
A United Nations arms embargo has prohibited the transfer of weapons to the Houthis since 2014. Iran insists on adhering to the ban despite having long transferred shotguns, rocket-propelled grenades, missiles and other weapons to the Houthis by sea.
Independent experts, Western nations and United Nations experts have tracked components seized aboard detained ships to Iran.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.
While the shipment of more than 1 million rounds of small arms ammunition is substantial, it pales in importance when compared to the amount the U.S. has already sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, much of which It has already been used in intense land battles.
The US has provided more than 300 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades as part of the nearly $44 billion in military aid it has sent to help Ukraine.
Additional US funding for the Ukraine war was not included in a stopgap measure that prevented a government shutdown last weekend. With the ouster of Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it is unclear whether the future leader will be able to generate enough support from party hardliners who have opposed sending more money to Ukraine.
Read Also: Biden prepares announcement on alternative “financing means” for Kyiv
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