Author Topic: 5 of 36 new Iraqi F-16s will be piloted by Kurds  (Read 846 times)

Offline MikeH

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5 of 36 new Iraqi F-16s will be piloted by Kurds
« on: July 21, 2015, 11:31:03 AM »
5 of 36 new Iraqi F-16s will be piloted by Kurds

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Five of the 36 F-16 fighter jets Iraq purchased from the US in 2011 will be flown by Kurdish pilots.
So far Iraq has received four of those jets, one of which will be piloted by a Kurd.
Muhammad Anwar is the name of the Kurdish pilot and he is from Erbil. He achieved the highest scores among the 40 Iraqi pilots sent to Arizona in the US for training and was assigned as the head of the Iraqi pilots.
However, the Kurdistan region still has doubts regarding the possibility of these jets being used by the Iraqi government against the Kurds in the future.
“The Iraqi army is not a national army, therefore the arrival of these jets worries us,” said Kakamin Najar, a politburo member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), to Rudaw. “Without a guarantee these jets will become a threat, especially after sidelining the Kurds and the Sunnis in the Iraqi army.”
Safin Dizayi, a spokesperson of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said he believes that the US will not allow the Iraqi government to use these jets against the Kurds. However, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) politburo thinks differently.
“The Kurds are worried about the policies and approaches of the Iraqi government in Baghdad towards the Kurds,” said Adnan Mufti to Rudaw.
Another member of the PUK politburo said there was no guarantee that the Iraqi government would not use its warplanes against the Kurds as it did during the Saddam Hussein era, and worried the planes could fall into the wrong hands.
“The Iraqi army might abandon its weapons to the terrorists groups as they did with the US weapons they left for ISIS,” Tariq Gardi, a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, told Rudaw.