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News Link • Iraq

Iraq to Receive First Batch of F-16s in 2014

•, by John Glaser
 US officials reaffirmed on Tuesday that Iraq would receive a batch of F-16 fighter jets by September 2014, as the top American military officer visited Baghdad this week.
The Obama administration agreed last year to sell 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in a multi-billion dollar deal aimed at increasing Washington’s influence in the Middle East, following a fiasco war that inadvertently provided Iran with a new Shiite ally in neighboring Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has demonstrated an increasingly authoritarian rule as he consolidates power over the country’s institutions and security forces. He has marginalized his political opponents through force and coercion, which has stoked sectarian tensions and even threatened a break-up of the nation. And Obama is supporting all of it.

Maliki, a Shiite, ordered the arrest of his Sunni Vice President Hashemi just as the last U.S. troops left Iraq. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq expressed approval in Januaryof this quest to detain Iraq’s vice president on trumped up terrorism charges, despite a virtual consensus that it was a blatant attempt to eliminate a political rival.

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