Ukraine has offered to share its list of Russian targets with the US in a bid to win Washington’s approval for long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), CNN revealed citing sources.
The US has rejected Ukraine’s requests for the Lockheed Martin projectile in the past, fearing that its range of 200 miles (322 kilometers) potentially allows Kyiv to target inside Russian territory, a “red-line.”
The latest Ukrainian request essentially includes a US veto over the intended Russian targets and is aimed at convincing Washington that delivering ATACMS would not lead to strikes over the border.
The list includes “logistical lines, air defense, and bases, as well as ammunition depots in Ukraine’s east and south, including Crimea.”
“We essentially described exactly what specific targets we need to hit on our territory which are not reachable with what we have now,” the outlet quoted a senior Ukrainian official.
“The categories of targets are clear and do not change.”
To Target Iranian Drone Launch Pads
Citing a source, the outlet wrote that the ATACMS would allow the Ukrainians to target deeper inside Crimea, at the launching pads of Iran-supplied drones that have reportedly inflicted considerable damage to Ukrainian forces in the south.
Dismissing US fears of Ukrainian strikes inside Russian territories, unnamed Ukrainian officials told CNN that they already possess the capability “in some cases.” However, they have chosen not to use that capability.
“We gave assurances that we will not do it [with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS] and we did not,” the outlet quoted a Ukrainian official.
“I think the problem is for the US to get over the psychological threshold and approve the [ATACMS] capability.”
US Not Convinced Yet
Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian territories last week has somewhat muddied the previous US red lines, allowing Moscow to consider the annexed areas as part of its “official territory.”
The US has maintained its previous position of supporting western weapons inside the annexed territories.
However, Washington is not yet convinced of the delivery of ATACMS for fear of being seen as more involved “than it would like,” CNN wrote.
The US representatives have argued with their Ukrainian counterparts that the country is “doing well” with the HIMARS-launched Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets delivered in the last few months.
A HIMARS can launch both ATACMS and GMLRS missiles. A GMLRS can strike targets from 80 kilometers (50 miles).