The Obama administration has plans to sell one billion dollars in advanced weaponry to Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
The deal provides massive advances in airpower for the Iraqi military. A Pentagon official said the deal will include 24 AT-6C Texan II light-attack aircraft. The fighter has “advanced avionics” and can carry precision-guided bombs. The 24 planes together are worth an estimated value of $790 million.
The United States will also send 200 Humvees with machine gun mounts, costing an estimated $101 million dollars.
According to the report, Iraq bought “7 seven aerostats, airships or tethered balloons that are powered by a buoyant gas, to provide surveillance for military installations and key infrastructure. The aerostats and deployment towers were worth about $90 million.”
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the sale will help Iraq’s “ability to provide protection of national level command and control sites, military installations, and other critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.”
The Pentagon said Tuesday that unless Congress steps in to block the sale, it will move forward as planned with the arms transfer.
Since the beginning of 2014, the Obama administration has flooded money into the Iraqi military’s coffers.
“We view the government of Iraq as a partner in the fight against terrorism and are committed to supporting it in its fight against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an Al Qaeda-linked group). We have provided the Iraqi military and security forces with more than $15 billion in equipment, services and training… including over $200 million in expedited security assistance we have delivered since the beginning of this year,” said a State Department official.
Regional experts worry Iran, an Islamic state-sponsor of terrorism that seeks regional hegemony, has developed a strong and threatening alliance with Iraq.
Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Fox News, “The risk of what would happen if Iran came to dominate Iraq is huge, and Iraq is absolutely critical to the stability of the Gulf and its global oil exports.” “You could end up with an Iran capable of playing a dominant role in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon,” he added.