Above: weapon loadout of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
There are reports this week that U.S. arms deliveries are planned for Iraq in its war against Al-Qaeda affiliates, while arms deliveries are also planned in the war against Syria where the strongest forces there are also Al-Qaeda affiliated.
Regarding U.S. arms for Iraq, according to Reuters:
The Obama administration notified Congress on Monday of plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, part of an effort to bolster the military against al Qaeda-linked militants, after addressing lawmakers' concerns that held up the sale for months.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on its website it had informed Congress of the possible sale of the Boeing Co-built helicopters to the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is in a standoff with Islamist militants in the western province of Anbar two years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
The administration also notified Congress of plans to lease Iraq up to six Apaches, which a U.S. defense official said would be used for training purposes until the purchased Apaches were delivered. The cost of the purchased Apaches, and the equipment and support that accompanies them, is worth about $4.8 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.Regarding U.S. arms against Syria, according to Reuters:
Light arms supplied by the United States are flowing to "moderate" Syrian rebel factions in the south of the country and U.S. funding for months of further deliveries has been approved by Congress, according U.S. and European security officials.
The weapons, most of which are moving to non-Islamist Syrian rebels via Jordan, include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets.
The weapons deliveries have been funded by the U.S. Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, two officials said.The situation in Iraq has now become in certain respects a mirror image of the situation in Syria, with artillery and airstrikes required in attempts to dislodge Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters from their positions in urban areas. There are also collateral civilian casualties, just as in Syria.
The Iraqis need arms shipments to combat AQ affiliated forces, if not from the U.S. then the Iranians and Russians as is the case with Syria. According to these reports they'll get them from the United States; naturally the Iraqis first choice based on qualitative superiority.
However, the opposite is intended for Syria, even though the main foes are the same as that in Iraq. Congress intends to arm "moderates" but in a conflict where the strongest armed opposition forces are Al-Qaeda linked, any support against Syrian forces indirectly assists AQ forces. Moreover by extension and in effect, relieved AQ forces in Syria potentially render assistance to their operations in Iraq.
Reposted below, map of Al-Qaeda affiliated armed forces area of operations and partial control in Syria/Iraq: