News   /   Military   /   More

US to transfer long-range rocket systems to Ukraine, signaling 'unacceptable escalation'

In this photo a US-made M142 HIMARS rocket launcher is on display at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, November 15, 2021, UAE. (File photo by AFP)

The US has decided to further extend military aid to Ukraine, transferring long-range rocket systems to the country while Russia continues to make advancements in its special operations in the Donbas. 

US officials said on Friday that despite its earlier reservations in regard to sending missile systems to Ukraine, following Kiev's insistence Washington had agreed to deliver them the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) or the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) next week.

Western countries led by the United States had already provided Ukraine with long-range weaponry, including M777 howitzers. However, Kiev insisted that it wanted longer-range ground weapons, especially rocket launchers, to help it win artillery battles.

Till now, Washington had held back from providing Kiev with such weapons partly to avoid an escalation should Ukraine strike targets deep inside the Russian territories. American and diplomatic officials told Reuters that Washington had even relayed to Kiev the concerns White House officials had in regard to this issue. "We have concerns about escalation and yet still do not want to put geographic limits or tie their hands too much with the stuff we're giving them," one US official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already warned the White House against providing long-range missile systems to the country.

Lavrov pointed out that providing Kiev forces with weapons that could reach Russian territory would be "a serious step towards unacceptable escalation" of the conflict.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku