Iraq Expects New US-Made F-16s in July to Boost IS Fight
Iraq will finally be getting the initial batch of F16 fighter-jets it purchased four years back, its airforce commander stated Thursday, a dispatch which is likely to improve Iraq's capacities in combating the extremist Islamic State team.
Lt. Gen. Anwar Hama Amin stated the combatants would arrive on July 1 2 along with the US-skilled Iraqi aviators and spare components and would instantly start carrying out functions, according to a statement posted late Wednesday on the Defense Ministry's website.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad didn't verify the day, and simply said the airplanes were anticipated by the summertime.
Iraq first purchased the 18 jets for $3 billion in 2011 to supplement its virtually nonexistent airforce. A yr after, then-Prime-Minister Nuri al Maliki whined over the delays in providing the airplanes.
The pilots have been coaching with three of the airplanes in Az and plans to deliver them last yr to Balad air force base in Iraq were fought after Islamic State militants threatened the region, based on an article on the Pentagon site.
U.S. employees and contractors were evacuated from the foundation last summer after an IS blitz overran big swaths of the state, along with major expanse of land in nearby Syria.
Iraq's airforce has been at its lowest stage and now relies on U.S. airplanes to carry out air-strikes in the fight to dislodge IS militants from the north and west of the state.
By Jul., Iraq had additionally received a total of 13-second hand Russian Su 25 jets.
In other developments, Iraqi authorities and authorities said Thursday that a suicide car-bomb went off over-night next into a bunch of Shiite pilgrims near Balad as these were were returning from a Shiite shrine the town of Samarra, killing 8 and wounding 16.
Samarra is the burial site for 2 revered 9th century Shiite imams and on Wednesday, there was a service marking the departure of one of them. The authorities spoke on condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to talk to the media.
South of the Baghdad, a-bomb exploded in a marketplace in town of Madain on Thursday, killing three people and wounding 10 others, according to authorities.
Associated Press reporter Qassim Abdul Zahra contributed to the report. Read Source
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