*** ----> US to send 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

US to send 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine

Agencies | Washington                                

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com   

The US will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, senior administration officials said yesterday, reversing months of persistent arguments by the Biden administration that the tanks were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.

The US decision came on the heels of Germany agreeing to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks. Germany had said the Leopards would not be sent unless the US put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the US similarly committing its own tanks.

Since then, both sides had participated in “good diplomatic conversations” that had made the difference and were part of the “extraordinary shift in Germany’s security policy” over providing weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded 11 months ago, said a senior administration official, who briefed reporters yesterday on the condition of anonymity to describe the new tank package in advance of the announcement.

The $400 million package announced Wednesday also includes eight M88 recovery vehicles — tank-like tracked vehicles that can tow the Abrams if it gets stuck.

Altogether, France, the UK, the US, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden will send hundreds of tanks and heavily armored vehicles to fortify Ukraine as it enters a new phase of the war and attempts to break through entrenched Russian lines.