“…riding in those MRAPs with the amount of RPG 29s in the country is committing suicide.”
After a long delay in helping the Kurds, the Obama administration has sent vehicles to the war zone without protective armor.
Dozens of MRAPs provided by the U.S. government to its Kurdish allies in Iraq have arrived without protective side armor, Fox News has learned, with one security contractor who works with the Kurds saying the missing armor makes riding in them tantamount to “committing suicide.”
The U.S. government promised 250 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) for Iraqi allies to help in the fight against the Islamic State.
But Phil Hudicourt, former Army Special Forces member who has spent more than a decade in Iraq, told Fox News the vehicles are “dangerous” without the armor plates.
“The military calls it an ‘RPG magnet’,” he said. “I don’t know what level it was made, if it was made at a low level, high level, but it’s a pretty stupid decision. Because riding in those MRAPs with all the amount of RPG 29s in the country is committing suicide.”
Fox News reviewed photos of about 30 MRAPs that arrived in Erbil, northern Iraq, last month. The photos appear to show empty side racks when compared with fully equipped models.
The large armor plates in question were added to MRAPs during the second Iraq war, when U.S. commanders on the ground realized that — while the vehicles could protect against IEDs and land mines because of their reinforced base — they were vulnerable to rocket-propelled grenade attacks from the side.