"Pentagon": we are very close to sell warplanes to Iraq
Posted 15/09/2011 04:20 AM
A senior official at the Pentagon, "the Pentagon said Wednesday that the United States has become too close to the sale of 18 f-16 jet fighters to Iraq.
He said US Air Force Commander in Iraq, Gen. top handy that Baghdad had blocked a deal to buy fighter planes amounting to 4.2 billion dollars earlier this year amid popular protests demanding democracy in the Arab world, but the future possibilities for implementing promising decade. "
Handy told reporters that "the Iraqis are trying to buy a greater number of up to 36 the number that doesn't already have f-16s, and therefore we hope to hear news about that very soon, but there was no definitive word on it yet."
Model of the f-16 sold America to Iraq
"Everyone I talk with him within the Iraqi Government is convinced that this is the right choice for them, and therefore we are very encouraged by these words and we are very close to signing a letter of offer and acceptance."
This news comes after the visit of us air force Chief Michael Donnelly Iraq earlier this month for talks on the sale of f-16s after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on 30 July that revived talks on this matter.
Al-Maliki said that Iraq wants to buy 36 planes and not 18 as scheduled previously. He said the new contract will be larger than the previously agreed to provide security for Iraq.
Any buying transaction cost billions of dollars and take years because of the length of the aircraft industry and train Iraqi pilots.
Iraqi pilots were being trained on those planes already in the United States and has finished training before the first delivery of those planes to Baghdad, said General handy.
And the Wall Street Journal reported in July that Iraq also will buy from the United States air defense systems.
And us and Iraqi officials said that while they believe that Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining security inside Iraq, however, lacked the capacity to protect its borders and its airspace and territorial waters,, US military officials considered Iran destabilizing factor in the region.
Handy said "Iran is already contributing to the violence we are witnessing in the region and is part of the Iran-backed militias are the main source of violence against Iraqi and US troops alike".
"Obviously ... These groups receive support from Iran. There are those who want to weaken the Iraqi Government in Iran ".