Jul 3, 2014
Russian Pilots Set to Fly Over Iraq
Russia may not have boots on the ground in Iraq—yet. But it will have them in the sky; Russian pilots could be flying over Iraq within days.
While the Obama administration struggles to speed up delivery of U.S. military assistance to the government of Iraq, Vladimir Putin has already delivered not only fighter jets but also the pilots needed to fly them, according diplomatic sourcest.
On Monday, Russian television trumpeted the arrival of the first five of 12 promised Sukhoi Su-25 combat fighter jets to the Iraqi government, saying it had also sent “trainers” to help the Iraqis use them.
Russian pilots will fly the planes due to a lack of Iraqi pilots with the proper training. Neither Russia nor Iraq as explained how the Iraqi air force could possibly have pilots trained and ready to fly the Russian fighters. The Su-25 planes were used in the Iraq-Iran war but have not been employed in Iraq since at least 2002.