Italy to Supply Iraq with Soviet Weapons – Defense Minister

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Rome plans to send to Iraq Soviet-produced weapons confiscated more than 20 years ago during the Balkan Wars, Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said.

ROME, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – Rome plans to send to Iraq Soviet-produced weapons confiscated more than 20 years ago during the Balkan Wars, Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said.

"The government proposes sending the machine guns used by our armed forces, anti-tank missiles and ammunition to Iraq," Pinotti said at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defense, which discussed the issue of the supply of arms to Iraq.

The minister explained that the weapons had been seized in the 1990s during the Balkan Wars.

"Preparations for the transfer of weapons by aircraft and ships have already begun and can be completed in the next few days, if the government’s proposal is supported," Pinotti said.

In June, the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which had previously been fighting in Syria against the country’s president, Bashar Assad, launched an offensive in Iraq. Later that month, the radicals announced that they established a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, forcing hundreds of thousands, including ethnic and religious minorities, to flee.

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