The United States has approved a sale of guided bombs and missiles to the Iraqi government in order to enable the country fight the Islamic State (IS) more effectively.
The Pentagon revealed in a statement on Wednesday that the US has approved a $2 billion deal to sell 16,000 laser-guided bombs, 24 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, 150 air-to-ground tactical Maverick missiles and helmet-cueing systems to the Iraqi air forces.
“Iraq requires these additional weapons, munitions, and technical services to maintain the operational capabilities of its aircrafts” reads the statement. “This proposed sale enables Iraq to fully maintain and employ its aircrafts and sustain pilot training to effectively protect Iraq from current and future threats.”
Back in 2011, the Iraqi government purchased 36 F-16 fighter jets from US, from which four were delivered to Baghdad in July 2015. The warplanes later joined the Iraqi air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) in September last year.
According to the Pentagon’s statement, the deal contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US through helping its strategic partners to improve their security.
Hours before this announcement, US Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter, said that more American military advisers will be sent to Iraq.