Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon informed Congress on Monday it plans to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in a deal worth $4.8 billion, officials said, as Baghdad battles anti-government militants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government has asked Washington for weapons and intelligence as it takes on Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Anbar province but it remains unclear if U.S. 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 also had separately notified Congress of plans to lease six Apache choppers to train Iraqi pilots.

“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.

President Barack Obama and other foreign leaders have urged Baghdad to take political steps to undercut support for the militants, against whom the Shiite-led government has taken a hard line, launching a massive operation.

Some lawmakers object to selling more arms to Iraq due to reports Baghdad is allowing Iran to use its airspace to help 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.

AFP Photo/Mandy Cheng

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • rustacus21

    … maybe we’re better off simply ‘GIVING THEM’ Democracy, like we started to do in 1998, so that they could peacefully co-exist on their own terms!!! Now, the escalation of violence is assured to continue for years, all b/c the we were too stupid & lazy to simply protest – NATIONALLY – against an obviously partisan, wrong & illegal Supreme Court majority decision, installing a ‘political’ preference choice, instead of allowing a comprehensive, state-wide recount of votes. The echoes of this catastrophic misuse of power – then & since, deserves actions called for in the Constitution, Bill of Rights & the removal of any justice(s) who deceptively gained access to the court for just THIS specific reason – to aid & abet in the destruction of a Democracy they don’t understand, hate & won’t ever consider legitimate – even after 238 years of operating successfully – in spite of all their efforts to undermine!!! It’s obvious the problem is conservatives, if the repercussion of stupid decisions continues being compounded – YEARS after the fact…

    • Sand_Cat

      Nah, war and weapons are much more profitable than Democracy and peace.

      • rustacus21

        … well, there’s still that little matter with Democracy, where the distinct ‘NO’ from our Declaration & Constitution, was turned into a ‘YES’, from the moment conservatives wrestled control of our Democracy from the lame & inept hands of the citizenry. The real question to U, me & other citizens is what, if ANYTHING, we plan to do about it?! This is an election year & a truely Lilberal/Progressive agenda hasn’t been implemented since the 1930’s, under FDR. We can plainly see this conservative ‘crap’ ain’t working – even for contemporary ‘moderates’. & it was only when the Liberal/Progressive policies of the 1930’s were disabled, did the foundation begin crumbling. Bottom line, it’s still We, the Peoples’ choice to, or to NOT do anything…