Aug 27 2012

NGOs protest Iraqi governments' F16 fighters purchase

ERBIL, Aug. 27 (AKnews)

Dozens of NGOs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq protested on Monday Iraqi government's purchase of US F16 fighter jets considering it as a threat to the Kurdish region.

The protesting NGOs also sent a protest letter to the US President Barrack Obama as well a UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

The representative of the NGOs who held a press conference in Erbil city, said the purchase of F1 jets was not necessary and that Iraqi authorities could use them against the Iraqi people and the Kurdish region.

"The US is selling F16fighters to the Iraqi government while the majority of the Middle East regimes who used heavy weapons against heir weapons against their peoples are being pressed on to leave power and to get striped of their heavy weapons" said Sipan Salim speaker for the conference.

"The Iraqi government I not under any external threats from the air or the ground from borders. The purchase of these fighters is not necessary"

The Iraq government has purchased 18 F16 fighters from the US 4 of which are expected to be delivered to the Iraqi government in September 2014, with another group of 4 to be delivered in March 2015. By the end of 2016, Iraq will get all 18 of them.

"Each of these planes have been purchased a huge amount of money which the Iraqi government could use on providing services to the people and reconstruct the country. The government could buy passenger planes instead of F16s" Salim said.

"Our concern and fear of the Iraqi government's purchase of those planes stems form our experience with the former Iraqi governments that used heavy weapons against their people" said Salim.

© AK News 2012

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