The Iraqi Government officially confirmed receipt of 10 pre-owned Sukhoi Jets from the Russian Government. Iraq hopes to turn the tides on the insurgents who have occupied major parts of key cities in the war-torn country.
The first ten Russian Sukhoi (Su-24) fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, confirmed country’s Defense Ministry. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now strongly hoping the jets will make a huge difference in the fight against ISIS. In a typical war like situation, the jets were asked to land at multiple locations, revealed MP Abbas al-Bayati, “The fighter jets landed today in the morning on different military airfields.”
These fighter jets are a desperate measure that is hoped will allow Iraq to retake territory seized by Sunni rebels led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant earlier in June. Sunni rebels who claim their allegiance with The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS have taken control of major cities, including Tikrit and are said to be advancing dangerously close to key military and civil establishments, reported Aljazeera.
These are quite extreme rebels where massive destruction of public property, public beheadings and executions are quite common. Ironically, these extremists do not seem to have any focused agenda, neither do they seem to have any intention to form a stable government under which Iraq could stabilize and prosper. No wonder, even Al Qaeda have condemned the modus-operandi of the ISIS.
The Russian Jets, ordered by Iraq will be stationed at an airbase located in the southern part of the country. Prime Minister Maliki revealed last week that Iraq purchased jets from Russia and Belarus in order to help its fight against Sunni militants. The Government had even ordered F-16 Jets from the United States, but apparently, the U.S. has dragged its feet, reported RT.
These Russian jets will join the MI-35 and MI-28 Russian helicopter fighters to “”keep the momentum in the attacks against ISIS,” reported local media. So far these Russian helicopters have proven to be of immense strategic importance to the Iraqi Government against ISIS; however, one of them was shot-down recently by the insurgents killing 19 onboard. The ISIS has succeeded, rather rapidly in making strong headway into the heart of the country and gaining control over oil refineries triggering worldwide panic about impending oil shortage.
Branding the extremists as terrorist, the Russian jets could be employed to drop bombs and conduct precision strikes on ISIS strongholds. The Russian Sukhoi jets have become famous for offering advanced strike capabilities, but given their age, these jets should crash, before they burn.
[Image Credit | BBC, Wikipedia, The Telegraph]