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Pentagon seeks massive boost in bomb budget for Iraq, Syria

The Defense Department wants $1.8 billion for precision-guided munitions to finish wiping out the Islamic State.
UNSPECIFIED, UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 07:  Contract workers load a Hellfire missile onto a U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), at a secret air base in the Persian Gulf region on January 7, 2016. The U.S. military and coalition forces use the base, located in an undisclosed location, to launch drone airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as to distribute cargo and transport troops supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The Predators at the base are operated and maintained by
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The Donald Trump administration is seeking nearly $2 billion in precision-guided weapons for the Iraq and Syria battlefields, as the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) faces increased threats from forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. That’s 20% more than the Pentagon spent on munitions in all Middle East war zones in 2017.

A spokeswoman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Al-Monitor that the Pentagon has requested $1.8 billion to replace expended munitions — including precision-guided bomb kits, small diameter bombs and Hellfire missiles — used in 2017 to help liberate Mosul and Raqqa. The spending boost for munitions is driving the US budget for the anti-IS mission to $15.3 billion for fiscal year 2019, a 15% jump over the $13 billion requested for the current year.

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