The first batch of second-hand Su-25 ground-attack jets that the Iraqi government
ordered from Belarus and Russia to help it fight back the Islamist militant
force threatening the country arrived in Baghdad, reported Al Jazeera on Sunday. The five
airplanes reached the Iraqi capital on June 28, and Iraqi officials said they
expected the jets to be ready for use within three to four days of arrival, reported BBC on Sunday. Their arrival came just days after Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki criticized his country's deal to obtain new-build F-16 fighters from the United States, charging that the process has been "long winded" and
prevented Iraq from having the airpower in place to thwart the Islamist
invasion. Pentagon spokesman Navy Cdr. William Speaks told Air Force Magazine on June 27 there had been no delay in the agreed-to schedule
for delivery of the Iraqi F-16s. There's also been no indication from
the Iraqi government that it does not want to proceed with the deal, he
said. The first two F-16s have "long been scheduled" for a fall
delivery date, said Speaks. (See also Kirby transcript.)
The next Daily Report will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, due to the Presidents Day holiday.
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