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Iran Press TV

Bosnia donates 550 tons of surplus arms to Iraq

Iran Press TV

Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:43AM

Bosnia has donated over 550 tons of surplus arms and ammunition to Iraq to help the fight against the ISIL terrorist group, the Balkan country's defense minister says.

Zekerijah Osmic said Monday that the donation was made upon a request from Washington as part of Sarajevo's involvement in the US-led military coalition's so-called battle against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.

Osmic added that the supplies comprise of arms and ammunition produced decades ago, when Bosnia belonged to the then Yugoslav Federation.

The donation is part of some 16,000 tons of arms and ammunition left over from the 1992-95 inter-ethnic war between Bosnian Serbs backed by the Serbian army, Muslim Bosniaks and ethnic Croats. Bosnian authorities plan to either donate the surplus arms to other nations by 2020 or destroy them.

According to the defense minister, the surplus arms, held in warehouses usually near human settlements, are becoming increasingly rusty and may pose a security risk for residents.

The announcement comes just over a week after Hungary said it plans to dispatch soldiers to Iraq to join the US-led coalition. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on March 10 that the country's parliament could decide on the issue in mid-April and troops could arrive to Iraq in the second half of May.

ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in the early June of 2014. The heavily armed Takfiri terrorists took control of the strategic city of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, before sweeping through parts of the country's Sunni heartland.

The US-led coalition, which claims to have been targeting ISIL positions in Iraq since August last year, has failed to dislodge the terrorists.

However, Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have been engaged in successful operations against the ISIL over the past months and have managed to drive the terrorists out of some areas under their control.


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