U.S.-led coalition drops Iraqi F-16s from anti-IS missions

The coalition's decision to remove the Iraqi Air Force from air tasking orders highlights ongoing failures to address the dysfunction and corruption that have crippled a multi-billion-dollar fleet of fighter jets.
An Iraqi solider stands guard near one of four F-16 fighter jets delivered during an official ceremony from the U.S., at a military base in Balad, Iraq, July 20, 2015. (THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters)

Iraq's F-16 fleet is no longer flying missions as part of the international coalition against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, according to two Iraqi officials and two coalition spokespersons — a consequence of the mismanagement and alleged corruption that continues to plague the program.

Iraq Oil Report previously reported that severe problems at Balad Airbase had crippled the F-16 fleet. By quietly dropping the Iraqi F-16s from its air tasking order, the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh has effectively codified its assessment that the multi-billion-dollar program is no longer fit for combat.

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