WASHINGTON, June 12 Top U.S. weapons maker
Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday said about 25 of its
employees were being evacuated from the Balad area in northern
Iraq as part of a larger effort to ensure their safety given
growing violence in the region.
Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein said the employees were in
Iraq working with the Iraqi air force as it prepared to receive
the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets, which are due to be ferried
to the country later this year.
Rein said it was too soon to say if the arrival of the jets
in the country would be delayed as a result of the violence.
"This is an unfolding situation," Rein said. "Those planes
weren't due to ferry for a couple months anyway."
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese)