BAGHDAD, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Iraq has received the first batch of 5 Russian Sukhoi-25 warplanes to support the Iraqi security forces in fighting against Sunni militants who took control of large swathes of territories in several Sunni provinces in the country, Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
"The first batch of five Russian jet fighters, Sukhoi 25 arrived in Iraq, in accordance with a contract between Russia and the Ministry of Defense," the ministry said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
The newly-purchased Su-25 will contribute to increasing the combat capability of the Iraqi Air Force and provide support to the Iraqi security forces in their mission to eliminate terrorism, the statement said.
Iraq used to have such kinds of Su-25 in its air force during Saddam Hussein regime.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Thursday in an interview with BBC Arabic Service that Iraq was buying more than a dozen of second-hand jet fighters from Russia.
Iraq has bought F-16 jet fighters from the United States, but the deal needs more time to be implemented.
"We should have sought to buy other jet fighters like British, French and Russian to secure the air cover for our forces; if we had air cover we would have averted what had happened," Maliki said.
Iraq have been witnessing its worst security conditions that began more than two weeks ago when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by an al-Qaida splinter group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, launched a surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces, and the fallen of a large part of the country's northern and western territories.
WASHINGTON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday downplayed the threat posed by Islamic militants making lightening advances in Iraq, saying the United States has been under "serious threat" during his entire presidency.
In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" program, the president was asked about the threat by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as his former ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had described the splinter group of al-Qaida as one that " will be coming our way" with 2,000 fighters holding Western passports. Full story
BAGHDAD, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said Thursday that the political track is necessary to go with the military track in fighting against the blitzkrieg of the Sunni extremist groups.
"There have to be two parallel tracks to proceed: the first is the work on the ground and military operations against the terrorists, and the second is to follow up the political process and holding the meeting of the Council of Representatives ( Parliament) on time," Maliki told British Foreign Secretary William Hague during their meeting in the capital Baghdad, according to a statement issued by Maliki's office. Full story