US Transfers Weapons Seized in Middle East to Ukraine

by | Apr 9, 2024

US Transfers Weapons Seized in Middle East to Ukraine

by | Apr 9, 2024


US Central Command reported it had sent thousands of small arms and rocket launchers to Ukraine that it seized in the Middle East. The move comes as the White House is desperately seeking arms to send to Ukraine as Congress is yet to approve President Joe Biden’s $61 billion funding package for Ukraine. 

CENTCOM announced the transfer on Tuesday, saying it was completed last week. “On Apr. 4, 2024, the US government transferred over 5,000 AK-47s, machine guns, sniper rifles, RPG-7s and over 500,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces,” CENTCOM said on X. “This constitutes enough materiel to equip one [Ukrainian brigade] with small arms rifles. These weapons will help Ukraine defend against Russia’s invasion.”

Washington claims it seized the weapons that Iran was transferring to Yemen. The US has asserted for nearly a decade that Yemen’s ruling Houthis operate as a proxy of Iran. However, the Houthis act independently of Tehran, and Washington’s claims that Iran is Yemen’s primary arms supplier have been largely debunked. 

The shipment of a few thousand small arms to Ukraine demonstrates the White House’s desperate attempts to ship arms to Kiev without additional funding approved by Congress. The Biden administration has demanded for over six months that lawmakers pass a $61 billion funding bill to support the proxy war in Ukraine. 

The effort to pass the bill was delayed when the White House attempted to package aid for Ukraine with $14 billion in military assistance for Israel and immigration reform. A $95 billion foreign aid bill passed the Senate earlier this year, but remains stalled in the House. 

The White House has used some questionable accounting tactics to send additional arms packages to Ukraine. Last Summer, the Department of Defense claimed to have uncovered a multi-billion accounting error that freed up over $6 billion in funds to ship arms to Ukraine. 

Additionally, the Pentagon used $300 million saved on army procurement contracts to send arms to Ukraine. However, the Department of Defense also reports a $10 billion deficit in funding to replenish American arms depots after the weapons were sent to Kiev. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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