Iraq seeks return of MIG fighters from Serbia
Baghdad, August 31, 2009
Iraq is negotiating the return of 19 fighter jets that Saddam Hussein's regime sent to Serbia for servicing at the end of the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi Defence Ministry said.
A delegation had gone to Serbia to start the process and to "recover the money misspent by the former Iraqi regime", the ministry said in a weekend statement.
Sanctions slapped on Iraq because of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 would have made it impossible to bring the MIG-21 and MIG-23 jet fighters back while he was in power.
"We discussed the matter with the Serbian side about the possibility of repairing these aircraft and returning them to service," the ministry said. "Everyone knows our need for fighter jets."
Two of the jets were ready for "immediate use", the statement said, and a preliminary agreement had been reached with the Serbian government to repair the others and send them back.
The statement did not say when the existence of the fighters had come to light.
Iraq wants to rebuild its once-strong air force as it seeks to reconstruct a military devastated by the 2003 US-led invasion and a decision by Iraq's US administrators to disband Iraqi forces in the aftermath.
The country announced in March that it wanted to buy a squadron of 18 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter aircraft. It was unclear whether that deal would be affected by the discovery of the MIGs. - Reuters
More Miscellaneous Stories
- More companies 'getting into CSR activities'
- Middle East grain import bills could rise
- New Emirati themed restaurant opens
- 4 UAE companies in race for agri innovation awards
- Stage set for Bahrain Animal Production Show
- Amphibious boats make global debut in Dubai
- Dubai chamber F&B group sets roadmap for 2014
- Feminisation drive costs $213m to Saudi firms
- US interiors firm opens MEA base in Dubai
- Saudi 'spends $1.6bn on energy drinks'
- Farmer is jailed for raping housemaid in Bahrain
- Bahraini mother recounts firebombs agony
- Guard foils masked ATM robbers in Bahrain
- Bahraini on Arab world's 'most powerful women' list
- Latest kitchen technology at Sharjah event
- Number of HNWIs in Africa to double by 2023
- World boxing legend to visit Bahrain
- UAE road accidents decline by 23.5pc
- Top businesswomen in Bahrain honoured
- Death penalty sought for Bahrain terrorists
- Girl, 9, dies after fall from 8th floor in Abu Dhabi
- Lebanese café brand opens Dubai outlet
- Bahrain poultry firm told to step up safety
- Customer dies in Bahrain cafe brawl
- Bahraini boys hurt while planting bombs
- Philips, Ericsson launch LED street lighting
- DuBiotech to set up first Halal safety lab
- Jotun to supply coatings for Makkah Station
- Raytheon wins $655m Kuwait Patriot deal
- Alwaleed Foundation lights up 3 Saudi villages