Prague approves warplanes sale to Iraq to fight jihadists

Members of the Iraqi paramilitary Popular Mobilisation units celebrate with a flag of the Islamic State (IS) group after retaking the village of Albu Ajil, near the city of Tikrit, from the jihadist group, on March 9, 2015The Czech government on Monday approved the sale of 15 combat and training L-159 jets to help Baghdad fight the jihadist Islamic State group, the defence minister told reporters. “We are looking at a total of 15 warplanes, four of which come from the Czech air force, while 11 others come from surplus stock,” Martin Stropnicky said. The contract with Baghdad, whose troops have faced a major jihadist onslaught since June, also envisages the sale of ground equipment, weapons and ammunition. Because of budget cuts, the air force has only held on to some 30 jets since.

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