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Estonia donates weapons to Iraq

By Richard Tomkins
Estonia donates weapons to Iraq
An Iraqi soldier prays during as other soldiers collect military equipment found at the site, believed to be a mass grave containing the bodies of Iraqi soldiers killed by Islamic State group militants (IS) in Tikrit, northern Iraq, April 08, 2015. Photo by Mushtaq Mohammed/UPI | License Photo

TALLINN, Estonia, July 23 (UPI) -- Estonia has sent a variety of weapons to Iraq to help it combat forces of the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL.

The Estonian Ministry of Defense said the donation consisted of a dozen 120mm mortars of Soviet origin, 140 RPD light machine guns, 66 Chinese-made AK-56 automatic rifles, 44 Romanian-manufactured AKMS automatic rifles, and 230 Tokarev pistols.

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The Ministry said 21,000 rounds of ammunition were also included.

"The shipment, which came in response to a corresponding request for assistance, consisted of Soviet-era military equipment that do not meet NATO standards and as such can no longer be used by the Estonian Defense Forces," it said.

Final delivery of the donated arms will be organized by the U.S. Central Command.

The donation, a response to a request for assistance to Iraq last year by the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council, was the second recent one by Estonia. It earlier donated more than a million rounds of million 7.62x54R ammunition to Iraq.

Estonia, a former Soviet satellite is located in the Baltics. It is a member of NATO and sent forces to Afghanistan as part of the International Assistance Force.

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