Iraq Receives Four F-16 Fighter Aircraft From US

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:28 AM, August 9, 2016
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Iraq Receives Four F-16 Fighter Aircraft From US
Iraqi F-16 fighter jet

Iraq has received four new F-16 fighters from the US as part of its $2 billion purchase of 36 aircraft.

"The new aircrafts will have a substantial impact on the advancing ground troops especially when the Mosul offensive starts," said Nasir Nouri a spokesperson from the ministry was quoted as saying by Rudaw on Sunday.

The US temporarily postponed the delivery of the planes in 2014 after Islamic State (IS) takeover of army installations in Nineveh province. The planes were instead sent to an Arizona air base where Iraqi pilots were being trained to fly the advanced aircraft, the daily reported.

A total of 26 pilots are expected to be trained, and 16 have been in training so far. US Air Force officials have said the Iraqis are being trained by the Air National Guard Unit at Tucson International Airport.

"The Iraqis have put those to good use," Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led military campaign against Islamic State told Reuters in February. "We look forward to this additional capability along with the additional trained pilots."

The US has so far delivered 10 F-16s in three phases since 2014.

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