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Statement on arrival of first batch of Iraqi F-16 jets

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Iraqi Ministry of Defense today announced the arrival of the first batch of four F-16 jets to Balad airbase as part of a multi-billion dollar deal with the U.S. Department of Defense for 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft for the Iraqi Air Force.

Ambassador of Iraq to the United States, Lukman Faily, made the following statement:

“The arrival of the first four Iraqi F-16 jets represents a critical moment in Iraq’s ability to take on and defeat transnational terrorists. Our close military relationship with the United States is bearing fruit and it is vital that we build on this momentum by further enhancing cooperation with the U.S.-led coalition in order to defeat Daesh.

“As Iraqi security forces, popular volunteers and local tribal fighters begin a major offensive to liberate key towns in Anbar, the arrival of the F-16 jets provides a much-needed boost to our air power capabilities that will allow us to target Daesh bomb-making factories and terrorist training camps.”