US Delivers Two Naval Vessels to Iraq
The United States has delivered two naval support ships to Iraq, which is seeking to boost its fledgling maritime capabilities, the US embassy said on Sunday, according to AFP.
The two 60-metre (200-foot) offshore support vessels were delivered by the U.S. navy on December 20, the embassy said in a statement.
The vessels are "large, multi-purpose, multi-functional ships capable of providing a wide range of support to Iraqi naval operations," it said.
They will also offer support to Iraq's patrol and fast attack boats at sea, offshore oil platforms and help move security personnel, it added.
According to the embassy, the US and Iraq shared the $115.5 million price tag of the ships and related support, equipment and training. It did not specify how much was paid by each country, AFP reported.
The U.S. military completed its withdrawal from Iraq on December 18 last year.
Less than 200 American military personnel remain in Iraq under U.S. embassy authority, assisting with the delivery of military equipment and training local personnel.
The United States is Iraq's main arms supplier as Baghdad seeks to boost its overall military capabilities. Iraqi officials say the military will not be able to defend the country's borders, airspace, or waters before 2020.