Unrest in Iraq could delay delivery of US F-16s

US President Barack Obama addresses US and Polish airmen in front of a F-16 fighter jet in a hangar at Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland, on June 3, 2014Violence in Iraq could delay the delivery of American F-16 fighter jets to the Baghdad government after contractors had to be evacuated from a key air base, the Pentagon said Monday. Although the United States is moving to expedite the delivery of weapons and ammunition to the Iraqi government as it battles Sunni extremists, volatile conditions on the ground threaten to disrupt preparations for the F-16 jets, spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters. Private contractors working on the F-16 program at Balad airbase were recently moved to a safer location in Baghdad because of the threat posed by advancing Sunni militants. His comments came as Iraq took delivery of a first batch of Sukhoi Su-25 fighter aircraft from Russia, but the Pentagon insisted Moscow’s move would not derail Washington’s arms sales to Baghdad.

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