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Aswat Al Iraq /  Politics ,  Baghdad
Former pilot claims Iraqi Air Force cannot protect Iraqi air space
6/19/2011 6:52 PM

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A former Iraqi Air Force pilot from Anbar province disclosed that the air force does not have the ability or materials to protect Iraq's airspace from any enemy strikes.

Retired Colonel Khamees al-Swaidawi told Aswat al-Iraq that "the Iraqi Air Force does not have any expertise or enough support to be a power that will provide necessary protection to all air spaces , in addition to providing logistical support for land or maritime forces.

He attributed the reasons for this failure to corruption, lack of security expertise and U.S.
fears of arming the Iraqi army with sophisticated jet fighters.

"Despite the old fashion of Iraqi fighters, they were able to accomplish victories in the Iraqi-Iranian and the Gulf Wars," he pointed out.

Swaidawi praised Iraqi pilots as the best in the Arab world, but criticized the attempts made to kill and assassinate Iraqi pilots, where hundreds were killed and the rest fled the country for a security haven.

He concluded that Iraq needs many projects to provide the Iraqi Air Force with different types of jet fighters and benefit from Iraqi pilots' expertise, as well as purchasing the most sophisticated arms and exclude the old ones from service.

Ramadi, the center of Anbar province, lies 110 km west of the capital, Baghdad.

RM (TI)/SR


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