MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Pentagon and the US intelligence services are working on a plan to provide Ukraine with the information on the location of the surface-to-air missile, allegedly in possession of the independence supporters in the east of the country, The New York Times wrote late on Saturday, citing officials.
“Although providing the Ukrainian forces with target location data may seem like a panacea, the actual destruction of these mobile launchers by Ukrainian forces may be quite a bit more difficult,” the paper quoted Reed Foster, an analyst at IHS Jane’s.
US Secretary of State John Kerry offered to provide the information to Ukraine so the latter could destroy the missiles. The United States does the same for Iraq, helping the government fight the extremists. The issue of whether to help Ukraine has not gone into the White House, yet, according to the newspaper.
Foster said that Ukraine lacked the proper experience to use foreign intelligence data if provided with such. He also said if Ukrainian planes attempted to destroy the missile systems from the air, they could become targets of attacks from the surface.
Although it is a technologically easy task, reporting the location to the Ukrainian authorities raises “issues of escalation with the Russians, and the decision about whether it’s wise to do it,” a senior military official told The New York Times.
“The debate is over how much to help Ukraine without provoking Russia,” the official said.
Media reported earlier that the United States was going to assist Ukraine's special forces with $33 million this year.
The United States sees Russia as responsible for providing independence supporters in eastern Ukraine with the missiles allegedly used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane 10 days ago. The MH17 crash in the Donetsk Region killed all 298 people on board.
Kiev authorities launched a special military operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April in a crackdown on the independence movement. The fighting intensified,causing hundreds of casualties, after Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed themselves independent people’s republics, .
Moscow has described the military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to end the bloodshed.