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Pentagon dismisses reports of expiring ATACMS destruction instead of sending to Ukraine

Pentagon spokesperson dismisses as false media reports claiming the US military plans to discard expired ATACMS missiles rather than provide them to Ukraine.
ATACMS. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Reports claiming that the United States intends to discard expired ATACMS missiles instead of sending them to Ukraine are unfounded, stated Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder during a briefing on 4 January.

Earlier, Newsweek said that the ATACMS expiry date “raises questions”:

“Hundreds of Lockheed Martin-made M39 and M39A1 [ATACMS] missiles that are ‘excellent legal, precision-guided cluster weapons’ are scheduled for destruction at ‘significant’ expense to American taxpayers, said Daniel Rice, a former special adviser to Ukraine’s lead commander, General Valery Zaluzhny,” Newsweek wrote.

The White House did not confirm Newsweek’s report and suggested that journalists reach out to the US Department of Defense for clarification.

When asked on 4 January about the existence of a batch of expired ATACMS missiles slated for destruction in the US, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder responded:

“I’ve seen those press reports. We looked into this and it is not true. Those reports are false,” he said, according to Ukrinform.

For months, US military aid to Ukraine has been in limbo as Congress has not approved President Biden’s request for a new $60 billion aid package.

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