US military says it has already given some seized Iranian small arms ammo to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The United States has given Ukraine small arms ammunition that was seized while being transferred from Iranian forces to Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen, the military says.

The move could presage the provision of more seized military gear to Ukraine at a time when Washington’s ability to continue arming Kyiv has been called into question due to opposition from hardline Republican lawmakers.

“The US government transferred approximately 1.1 million 7.62mm rounds to the Ukrainian armed forces” on Monday, the military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) says in a statement.

The ammunition was seized by US naval forces in December 2022 while it was “being transferred from the IRGC to the Houthis in Yemen,” CENTCOM said, referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Yemeni rebel forces they support.

“The government obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023, through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims” against the IRGC, it adds.

The Pentagon said yesterday that the United States can continue meeting Ukraine’s military needs for a “little bit longer” with assistance that has already been authorized, but that congressional action is required for aid to continue in the longer term.

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