SAMARRA, Iraq — The U.S. Army issued more than 800 protective vests and more than 350,000 7.62 mm rounds to the Iraqi army at a base near Samarra last week, according to a 42nd Infantry Division press release.

The vests and bullets are meant to outfit the Iraqi soldiers for combat missions as they prepare to take responsibility for operations.

The Iraqi troops will help secure Samarra and surrounding towns, the release said.

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