Middle East Monitor — June 23, 2014
A spokesman for the Office of the Adjutant General of the Iraqi armed forces has said that his country has returned 130 military aircraft to Iraq, which were held in Iran for more than 20 years. General Qassim Atta explained in a televised press statement that the Iranian authorities have equipped the aircraft with “sophisticated weapons”.
“The planes,” said Atta, “will participate in the battles against ISIS to liberate the city of Mosul from its control.”
Iraq transferred an undisclosed number of fighter and civilian jets to Iran just before the US-led coalition forces launched air strikes in 1991 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Groups of Sunni Arabs, led by ISIS, control a number of Iraqi cities in the north, east and west of the country. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has described those groups as “extremist terrorists”. Sunni figures, however, claim that what is happening is a Sunni tribal revolt against the discriminatory policies pursued by the Shiite government of Al-Maliki.