// IP Marketing video - START// IP Marketing video - END

Pentagon plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq

Pentagon plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Pentagon informed Congress on Monday, Jan 27, it plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in a deal worth $4.8 billion to help Baghdad battle anti-government militants, AFP reports.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government has lobbied Washington for weapons and intelligence as it takes on al Qaeda-linked fighters in Anbar province but it remains unclear if US lawmakers will approve the proposed package.

Congress has 15 days to raise objections to the planned arms sale, which also includes 480 Hellfire missiles and associated radar and navigation systems, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees foreign arms sales.

The Pentagon had separately notified Congress of plans to lease six Apache choppers to allow for training Iraqi pilots on the aircraft, in a proposal worth $1.37 billion, according to AFP.

"This proposed sale supports the strategic interests of the United States by providing Iraq with a critical capability to protect itself from terrorist and conventional threats, to enhance the protection of key oil infrastructure and platforms, and to reinforce Iraqi sovereignty," the DSCA said.

The Boeing AH-64 helicopters will help provide Iraqi forces with "close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions," it said.

For weeks, parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah in western Iraq have been in the hands of anti-government fighters, including members of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The militants' recent gains have marked the first time they have openly controlled Iraqi cities since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other foreign leaders have urged Baghdad to take political steps to allay the concerns of the Sunni community and undercut support for the militants.

But the Shiite-led government has taken a hard line, launching a massive operation.

Some lawmakers object to selling weapons to Iraq due to reports Baghdad is allowing Iran to use its airspace to arm the Syrian regime. They also worry the Iraqi government will use the helicopters and other weapons to target political enemies instead of only suspected al Qaeda extremists.

The U.S. military said earlier this month it is preparing to ship several thousand M-16 and M-4 assault rifles as well as ammunition to help Iraqi forces against militants in the west. Officials also have said Washington is looking at possibly training Iraqi forces in a third country.

Related links:
 Top stories
It further resolved that Agramunt is not authorised to undertake any official visits, attend any meetings or make any public statements on behalf of the Assembly.
The 324-member body is made up of delegates from national parliaments who meet four times a year in Strasbourg.
The administration’s March budget proposal vowed to slash aid to developing countries by over one-third, but contained few details.
Total world military expenditure rose to $1686 billion in 2016, an increase of 0.4% in real terms from 2015, according to figures from SIPRI.
Partner news