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US considering sending cluster munitions to Ukraine

The Biden administration is considering giving Ukraine cluster munitions, a U.S. official confirmed Friday. 

NBC News first reported that Washington was leaning toward providing dual purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs) to Kyiv, with an announcement that could come as early as July. 

A U.S. official told The Hill that “no decision has yet been made but, the U.S. is considering DPICMs for the Ukrainians.” 

Designed during the Cold War-era, DPICMs are surface-to-surface warheads designed to explode and send multiple small munitions over a wide area to cause maximum damage. 

Since last year, Ukraine has asked the United States for the weapons but Washington has held off due to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international treaty that bans the transfer, use and stockpiling of the cluster bombs. 

More than 100 countries, including U.S. allies, have signed the 2008 treaty due to the risk of unexploded bombs injuring or killing civilians, constituting a war crime. 

The United States, Ukraine and Russia, however, are not signatories to the agreement, with multiple reports of Moscow having used DPICMs in its invasion of Ukraine. 

Joint Chiefs of Chairman Gen. Mark Milley on Friday was pressed on the Pentagon’s considerations while speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., though he had little to offer. 

“I’m not going to get out in front of decision making by the president,” Milley said when asked whether the U.S. would send Ukraine cluster bombs. 

“We consider all kinds of options. . . . there’s a decision-making process ongoing and it’s a continuous ongoing process. To my knowledge, I don’t know of a decision yet.” 

Source: The Hill

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