BAGHDAD, July 13 (Reuters) - Iraq received a first batch of F-16 fighter jets from the United States on Monday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said.
Iraq ordered 36 of the $65 million Lockheed Martin Corp planes, but initial deliveries were delayed because of security concerns after Islamic State militants overran large areas of of the country last year.
Four jets landed at the Balad air base north of Baghdad shortly after noon (0900 GMT), an officer in the Iraqi air force said
The delivery came as Iraqi authorities announced the start of a military operation to drive Islamic State from the province of Anbar, west of Baghdad.
Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Dominic Evans