Iraqi Warplanes Accidentally Bomb Baghdad; Seven Dead

A bomb fell from an Iraqi Sukhoi warplane and exploded in eastern Baghdad on Monday because of a "technical problem", killing at least seven people, security and medical officials said.  

"One of the bombs became stuck because of a technical problem, and during its (the aircraft's) return to base it fell on three houses in Baghdad Jadida," security spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said in a statement.

The jet was coming back from a bombing run when the accident occurred, Maan said.

Officials said that the blast, which occurred near the Rasheed air base, also wounded at least 11 people.

Iraq received Sukhoi Su-25 jets from Russia and Iran last year as it sought to bolster its fledgling air force to combat the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, which overran large parts of the country.  

The Su-25s are robust aircraft designed for ground attack missions, but Iraq's Sukhoi fleet is made up of ageing planes that have seen heavy use as Baghdad's forces battle to push the jihadists back.

The US agreed to sell Iraq 36 F-16 warplanes, but none have been delivered so far.

The first batch of the jets has instead been sent to Arizona, where Iraqi F-16 pilots are training.

One of the pilots, Brigadier Rasid Mohammed Sadiq, was killed in a crash during an aerial refueling exercise at the end of June.

The Iraqi air force has been taking part in a wider, US-led anti-ISIS air campaign which has inflicted heavy casualties on the jihadist group, but has struggled to translate that into gains on the ground.

While Kurdish forces in northern Iraq have, like their Syrian brethren, manage to push ISIS out of swathes of captured territory, the Iraqi army, backed by Iranian-sponsored Shia militias, has not made any major gains since capturing Tikrit in early April.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197749

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