NEWS: Iraq buys arms from China; opposes U.S. support for Sunni militias

Iraqis to pay China $100 million for weapons for police

Iraq has ordered $100 million worth of light military equipment from China for its police force, contending that the United States was unable to provide the materiel and is too slow to deliver arms shipments, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said yesterday.

The China deal, not previously made public, has alarmed military analysts who note that Iraq’s security forces already are unable to account for more than 190,000 weapons supplied by the United States, many of which are believed to be in the hands of Shiite and Sunni militias, insurgents and other forces seeking to destabilize Iraq and target U.S. troops. [complete article]

Iraqi leaders turn against US-created ‘militias’

The Iraqi government lashed out on Thursday against a US military initiative that pits civilians against Al-Qaeda fighters, accusing it of creating new militias in the war-weary nation.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s media adviser Yasin Majeed said the Shiite-led government was now trying to bring armed groups set up by the US military under the control of the Iraqi army.

“There are groups which have set up checkpoints without coordinating with the government,” he said. “Apparently they coordinated with the (US military). They should be placed under army control.” [complete article]

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