World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq has agreed to purchase 24 combat and training aircraft from the Czech Republic for about $1 billion as part of its programme to rebuild its air force, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media advisor said on Friday.
Iraq will buy Czech L159 jets with the first planes arriving over the next seven months, Ali al-Moussawi said.
Iraq has no real air force since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and Baghdad says it will not be able to defend its airspace until 2020. Iraq is also purchasing U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets.