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U.S. Sends Missiles, Drones To Iraq

The United States has boosted shipments of Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and Scan Eagle drones to Iraq because of concerns of increasing violence there.

Officials in Washington said on December 26 that some 75 Hellfire missiles have been delivered already and 10 unmanned surveillance drones will be shipped early next year.

In addition, the United States will begin delivery of 18 promised F-16 fighter jets in the fall of 2014, with all of them being delivered by the end of 2015.

During a visit to Washington last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki requested additional equipment to help Iraqi security forces conduct operations against militants in remote parts of the country.

This year saw the worst sectarian violence in Iraq since 2006-07, when tens of thousands were killed in clashes between Sunni and Shi'ia Muslims.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP