September 27, 2011

Iraq makes first payment in $3 billion F-16 deal: U.S.

Washington - Iraq has made the first payment in a deal to buy 18 F-16 warplanes worth a total of about $3 billion, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

"These aircraft are going to help provide air sovereignty for Iraq and to protect its territory," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"They also, as a significant military sale between us, are a symbol of the commitment that we've made to the Iraqi government to have a long-term strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq," Nuland said.