Russia delivers Sukhoi fighter jets to Iraq

Russia delivers Sukhoi fighter jets to Iraq
Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:44:35

The Iraqi government has received the first batch of Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets to use them against the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Iraqi defense ministry said on Sunday that five Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft would enter service in "three to four days".

Iraq's ministry of defense said the deal with Russia "was aimed at increasing the firepower of the air force and the rest of the armed forces in order to fight terrorism".

Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, told the BBC last week that his government had signed a deal with Russia and Belarus to supply jet fighters. The deals are reportedly worth up to $500m.

A Russian expert, quoted by Lenta News Agency, said that six Sukhoi SU-30 jets had been sent to Iraq, but this has not yet been confirmed.

On June 10, the Takfiri militants gained control of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

Over the past days, Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad. However, the ISIL’s advance has been slowed down as Iraqi military and volunteer forces have begun engaging them on several fronts.


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