The United States is considering the option of giving Ukraine US-made fighter jets, in a sign that Washington is delving deeper into the war in Ukraine, which is entering the sixth month.
The Biden administration is assessing the situation and studying the feasibility of sending advanced fighters to Ukraine, White House spokesman told reporters on Friday, according to Reuters.
$8.2 Billion Aid So Far
The US has so far given a whopping $8.2 billion in military and other aid to Ukraine since the beginning of Kyiv's conflict with Russia.
The plan to arm Ukraine further risks escalating the tensions with Russia and causing the war to spill over into a wider European conflict involving NATO. However, the administration official adds that there is no plan to roll out the plan immediately.
"It's not something that would be executed in the near-term," White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
More Drones and HIMARS
Washington's latest Ukraine war aid amounts to $270 million, which has provisions for giving Ukraine $100 million worth of drones as well as 580 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial vehicles from AEVEX Aerospace LLC. The US is also giving Kyiv around $175 million for other defense needs.
The latest package seeks to provide Kyiv more of the highly effective high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).
The news comes a day after Russia said it destroyed as many as four HIMARS systems. The Russian defense ministry said four high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) were taken down between July 5 and 20, in a big blow to Ukrainian resistance.
"Four launchers and one reloading vehicle for the U.S.-made multiple launch rocket systems (HIMARS) were destroyed," the Russian defense ministry said on Friday, according to Reuters.
HIMARS were part of the advanced rocket systems and munitions President Joe Biden had approved in early June. The HIMARS system is well loved by Ukraine's armed forces as they believe it is crucial in countering the Russian missile offensive.
According to Ukraine general, HIMARS would be a gamechanger in the war with Russia. Kyiv had flaunted the HIMARS' effectiveness as it claimed the weapon system was used in the killing of top Russian generals.
HIMARS systems are seen in the US as a means to help Ukraine prolong the war and wear Russia down in the process.