Iraq delays purchase of US fighter jets

2011-02-14 20:37

Baghdad - Iraq's government spokesperson says the country is delaying the purchase of 18 US fighter jets over budget problems.

Ali al-Dabbagh told The Associated Press on Monday that the Iraqi government would postpone the expected purchase of the F-16 fighter jets and would instead use the money to beef up food rations. The Iraqi government gives food rations to many of its citizens.

Al-Dabbagh said an initial partial payment of about $1bn was to be spent this year on the fighter jets.

Iraq relies on the United States to control its airspace. The purchase of the American fighter jets was to help it protect its sovereignty after the scheduled departure of US forces at the end of this year.

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