The US Department of State on Wednesday approved a $295.6 million arms sale for two Kurdish Peshmerga infantry brigades and two support artillery battalions in Iraq.
“The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of the equipment necessary to fully outfit two full Peshmerga Regional Brigades of light infantry, as well as the equipment necessary to outfit two artillery battalions that will ultimately provide support to those regional brigades,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.
The requested equipment includes 4,400 Colt M16A4 Rifles, 46 M2 50-caliber and 186 M240B machine guns, 36 regular and 77 up-armored Humvees, along with other small arms and body armor.
The Iraqis also requested Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) detection and protective equipment for the Peshmerga.
In addition to military assistance, the United States helps to cover monthly wages for the Kurdish troops, which the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga said totaled $20.3 million every month.
The government of Canada has also recently promised additional equipment to the Kurds.
In February, the Canadian Department of National Defense said Ottawa would supply the Peshmerga with sniper rifles, machine guns and anti-tank grenades along with other arms. At the time, Canada was working on administrative and legal arrangements for the shipments.
The Canadian Defense Department spokesperson Capt. Patricia Brunelle told Grasswire on Tuesday that no equipment has yet been delivered.