The United States continues to monitor the possible diversion by Russia of weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine by NATO and the North American country itself, the Pentagon said on Friday, after CNN pointed out that such weapons end up in places like Iran.
The US network CNN published today that the United States is convinced that Russia has been sending Iran weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine by NATO and the US country, which were left abandoned on the battlefield.
Citing four sources familiar with the matter, CNN says that in many cases the equipment has been sent to Iran for dismantling and analysis, probably so the Iranian military can try to make its own version of the weapons.
"We have seen these reports and, although it is something that we will continue to monitor, we have nothing more to add to Dr. Colin Kahl's statements on the subject in his recent testimony before Congress," a Pentagon source told EFE.
On February 28, Undersecretary of Defense Kahl appeared before the House Armed Forces Committee to defend the aid sent to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion a year ago.
Although he did not refer to any specific case, Kahl pointed out that "if any of these systems have been diverted, it has been by the Russians who have captured material on the battlefield."
According to information from CNN, in the last year officials from the US, NATO and other Western countries have seen several cases in which Russian forces have seized small arms that are fired from the shoulder, such as the Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft systems, which Ukrainian forces have sometimes been forced to leave behind on the battlefield.
US officials do not believe the problem is widespread or systematic and the Ukrainian military has been accustomed since the start of the war to reporting any loss of US-supplied equipment to the Pentagon, the officials said.
In his view, Russia might be doing this because it believes that continuing to provide captured Western weapons to Iran will incentivize Tehran to maintain its support for Russia's war in Ukraine.
Precisely, the White House warned a few days ago that military cooperation between Russia and Iran has increased and specified that Tehran has sent artillery and tank ammunition to the European country, while Moscow could have provided fighter-bombers to the Islamic Republic.
This was stated by the spokesman for the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, who added that since August Iran has supplied hundreds of drones to Russia, which has used them to attack "crucial infrastructure" in Ukraine.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project