Ukraine fires US-provided long-range missiles on Russian forces -reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine launched U.S.-provided long-range ATACMS missiles against Russian forces on Tuesday, according to media reports that citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.

The United States secretly provided Kiev with the missiles, although it was not immediately clear when Washington sent them, CNN reported, citing two unidentified U.S. officials.

The ATACMS, or Army Tactical Missile Systems, were fired on Tuesday, their first use in the roughly 20-month-long conflict, according to the Wall Street Journal. Politico also reported on the acquisition and deployment of the missiles, which it said were sent in recent weeks.

The U.S. State Department said it could not confirm the reports and referred questions on military operations to the Ukraine government.

Representatives for Kiev could not be immediately reached for comment.

Kyiv has repeatedly asked the Biden administration for ATACMS to help attack and disrupt supply lines, air bases and rail networks in Russian-occupied territory.

President Joe Biden had told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Washington would provide Kyiv with ATACMS long-range missiles, NBC News reported last month, although the White House and Pentagon would not comment.

(Reporting by Mike Stone and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)