18 November 2020
by Gareth Jennings
Iraqi Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons have undertaken their first combat operation since the recent return to the country of contractors who had been evacuated earlier in the year.
Iraq has 34 F-16s, a large proportion of which had in effect been grounded throughout much of 2020 as US contractor support was withdrawn for varying reasons. With that support now returning to the country, the Iraqi Air Force and US CENTCOM have logged a strike mission for the type against the Islamic State group. (Lockheed Martin)
Both the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on 17 November that an undisclosed number of F-16s had participated in air strikes against the Islamic State group north of the capital Baghdad.
“Iraqi F-16 fighter jets carried out air