US shows readiness to escalate following HIMARS statement: Antonov
According to Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, the Pentagon's remarks on HIMARS deliveries to Kiev show a willingness for escalation.
According to the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, the Pentagon's remarks on HIMARS deliveries to Kiev show a willingness for escalation.
Yesterday, Pentagon policy chief, Colin Kahl, stated that Ukrainian forces have nearly completed training on High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) delivered by the United States and the United Kingdom.
"We did provide an initial tranche of HIMARS systems. The Ukrainians are completing training as we speak. We expect those systems to get into the fight soon, and we’re committed to continuing the flow of those munitions," Kahl said at the Center for a New American Security's 2022 National Security Conference.
The US will also provide Ukrainian forces with the information they need to strike specific targets within their territory, according to Kahl.
According to Antonov, "It is extremely worrying that a senior Pentagon official admits the possibility of expanding the supply of long-range systems. Such words can be regarded as Washington's intention to go for further escalation. This only confirms that the Americans have no aspirations for a peaceful settlement."
The HIMARSs are the centerpiece of a $700 million package US President Joe Biden signed on June 2, which includes "Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition," according to The New York Times.
The US has sent more than $5 billion in military supplies to Ukraine since Biden took office in 2021, according to a senior administration official.
The Pentagon has decided to provide HIMARSs to Ukraine due to the nature of the conflict changing to an "artillery duel", Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told a press briefing on Wednesday.
A senior administration official told reporters that the US would send M142 HIMARS, which have a range of approximately 77 km.
Moscow had sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences".