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The American government delivered the AH-64 helicopters to the Iraqi government with the aim of reconquering Ramadi and Fallujah, which have fallen into the hands of the rebels
Six AH-64 Apache helicopters will soon be delivered to Iraq. This was the decision approved by the US Congress after the Iraqi government required help. The rotorcrafts will be leased in order to fight the Sunni revolt in the province of Anbar.
The event represents a new stage of the Apache deal between Baghdad and Washington. In fact, at the end of February, Iraq had already announced the purchase of 24 Apache helicopters from the United States. However, the aircrafts are still far from being delivered and, therefore, Iraq has demanded a loan to the American partners. The leasing will also include the pilots training, led by the US Ministry of Defense.
‘This agreement will enable Iraqi Security Forces to start training for the missions, as well as to carry out the aircraft maintenance – told the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency -. This is going to be an essential phase before the Apache delivery’.
The six AH-64 helicopters are already on their way to Iraq. Their main goal is to support the recapture of Fallujah and Ramadi, two important towns in the province of Anbar that have fallen into the hands of the Sunni rebels three months ago.
The operation is extremely important and it takes place right 20 days before Iraqi presidential elections, scheduled on April 30th (the last elections took place in 2010). The US had already successfully used the Apaches in the area of Anbar during the after-war, between 2004 and 2007.
The helicopters given to Iraq will be equipped with 152 AGM-114 K-A Hellfire anti-tank missiles mounted on the aircrafts. The choice of using an attack helicopter such as the Apache was made for a precise reason: the main concern of the Iraqi and US governments is the presence of Al-Qaeda cells among the Sunni rebels. In detail, among the revolt souls there is ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria), an anti-terror cell close to the Taliban group.