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US plans nearly $1 billion arms deal with Iraq

Iraqi government forces take part in a military operation in the city of Ramadi, west of the capital Baghdad, on April 26, 2014The United States plans to sell nearly $1 billion worth of warplanes, armored vehicles and surveillance aerostats to Iraq. The deal includes 24 AT-6C Texan II light-attack aircraft, a turboprop plane manufactured by Beechcraft that has .50 caliber machine guns, advanced avionics and can carry precision-guided bombs, the Pentagon said. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed Congress on Tuesday of the planned sale, which will go ahead unless lawmakers block the deal. “The proposed sale of these aircraft, equipment and support will enhance the ability of the Iraqi forces to sustain themselves in their efforts to bring stability to Iraq and to prevent overflow of unrest into neighboring countries,” the agency said in a notice.

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