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U.S. agrees to send 5,000 more Hellfire missiles to Iraq

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hellfires are usually fired from the air to ground, water
  • This order would be in addition to the 780 Hellfires already delivered
  • Congress has been notified of the proposed sale

Editor's note: Read a version of this story in Arabic.

(CNN) -- As violence continues unabated in Iraq, the United States has agreed to sell $700 million in military aid, including 5,000 Hellfire missiles.

The Iraqi government made the request for the missiles, which are primarily fired from helicopters, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

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The United States has already been providing Iraq with Hellfires. Since January, 780 were delivered, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. The United States expects to ship another 366 in August.

Kirby said the additional 5,000 missiles would likely be shipped in batches, but he had no details on a delivery schedule.

Congress, which has the authority to block it, was notified of the potential new sale on Monday. The State Department has approved the proposal.

Iraq's government has been waging war with militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The terrorist group has taken over several cities. It is seeking to create an Islamic caliphate that encompasses parts of Iraq and Syria and has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls.

Police officials in Baghdad told CNN two car bombs exploded in two Shiite neighborhoods on Wednesday.

At least seven people were killed and 25 were wounded when one bomb exploded near a gas station in Sadr district in eastern Baghdad.

About 30 minutes later, another explosion near a busy outdoor market in al Ameen neighborhood in southern Baghdad killed five people and wounded 35 others.

CNN's Barbara Starr and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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