Iraq Delays Fighter-Jet Purchase to Buy Food

Al-Dabbagh said the postponement would not affect the departure of American troops scheduled for the end of this year. Iraq relies on American planes and drones to patrol and protect its skies, and the country’s head of armed forces has said Iraq will not be ready to protect its own airspace until 2020.

An American military spokesman said the U.S. realizes that Iraq has to make tough budget decisions.

“The purchase of F-16s is one of many budget decisions they must make,” said Col. Barry Johnson. “Any impact a decision to postpone the purchase of F-16s may have is just one of many factors the Iraqi government will have to weigh in considering its future security agreements.”

Iraq has been rattled by protests in Tunisia and Egypt that have toppled governments there. In small-scale protests across Iraq, demonstrators have vented their anger at the Iraqi government, which they say is corrupt and demanded improved government services and more jobs.

“We want reforms to take place,” said Hanaa Adwar, an activist from the nonprofit watchdog group, al-Amal. “We have witnessed the popular revolution carried by Tunisian and Egyptian people that led to the toppling of their regime.”

Many of the demonstrators carried banners that bore the image of a broken red heart, alluding to the fact that the protest took place on Valentine’s Day. They shouted slogans saying Iraq’s oil wealth should go to the people but goes to thieves instead.

“Government, you should take lessons from Egypt and Tunisia,” demonstrators shouted as they walked through downtown.

On Sunday, al-Maliki met with government officials to discuss problems facing Iraqis, specifically the electricity shortage and the food rations, and vowed to address the problems.

(Source: Associated Press)

Tags: ,

3 Responses to Iraq Delays Fighter-Jet Purchase to Buy Food

  1. […] who have already tried to appease citizens by diverting money from fighter jets to food, giving out free power and cutting their own pay, were quick to act after Friday’s “Day […]

  2. […] the country, said one government official who was not authorized to speak on the record.But Iraq announced in February that it would delay the purchase of the new fighter jets to put $900 million of allocated funds into its national food ration […]

  3. […] warplanes but do not have a signed contract, according to Bloomberg.In February the Iraqi government delayed its planned purchase of F-16s and diverted $900 million set aside for an initial payment on the aircraft into its national food […]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Govt Responds to Demands; Possible Strike in Sulaimaniya | Iraq Business News - 1st March 2011

    […] who have already tried to appease citizens by diverting money from fighter jets to food, giving out free power and cutting their own pay, were quick to act after Friday’s “Day […]

  2. Lockheed Martin Hopes for Iraq F-16 Contract by Early 2012 | Iraq Business News - 20th May 2011

    […] the country, said one government official who was not authorized to speak on the record.But Iraq announced in February that it would delay the purchase of the new fighter jets to put $900 million of allocated funds into its national food ration […]

  3. Iraqi F-16 Deal Making “Significant Progress” | Iraq Business News - 2nd September 2011

    […] warplanes but do not have a signed contract, according to Bloomberg.In February the Iraqi government delayed its planned purchase of F-16s and diverted $900 million set aside for an initial payment on the aircraft into its national food […]