MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russian experts arrived in Iraq Sunday to get Sukhoi jets, purchased by Baghdad, into the fight against the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the New York Times reported Monday citing sources in Iraq's government.
“In the coming three or four days the aircraft will be in service to support our forces in the fight [against the ISIS insurgents]," Gen. Anwar Hama Ameen, the commander of the Iraqi Air Force, was quoted as saying.
Five SU-25 aircraft were delivered to Iraq Saturday night, two more were expected Sunday.
Member of the Security and Defense Committee of Iraq's parliament Abbas al-Bayati said Saturday that 10 Sukhoi jets, urgently purchased by the Iraqi army, had landed at several military airports in the country. The warplanes will be operated by pilots familiar with the jets.
The purchase of Russian jets is a rebuke to the United States, which have not yet delivered the promised F-16 jets and military helicopters, the paper writes.
Sunni rebels from the ISIS group have been fighting against President Bashar Assad in Syria, and in June launched a large-scale offensive in Iraq. They gained control over large part of the Iraqi territory and were joined by other Sunni groups unhappy with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s government.