LONDON (Jan. 31)
France will supply Iraq with 32 Mirage Jet fighter-bombers and 20 other Mirage aircraft of different types as part of a 67 million pounds sterling ($160.8 million) arms agreement that will be signed in Paris next week by President de Gaulle and President Aref of Iraq, the London Daily Telegraph reported today. The arms deal with Iraq will re-open the question of de Gaulle’s attitude toward Israel and the Jews in general, the paper’s diplomatic correspondent said. Iraq fought against Israel last June and still has forces in Jordan.
According to the report, France will lend Iraq 12 Mirage jets until the Iraqi planes are ready for delivery and will train three squadrons of the Iraqi Air Force in the operation and maintenance of the supersonic warplanes. France will also supply Iraq with 100 air-to-air Matro rockets and 72 Nord rockets. Spare parts and accessories will also be supplied but outside the terms of the arms agreement. The other types of Mirage jets going to Iraq, the Telegraph said, are 16 E3-3 interceptors, two photo reconnaissance planes and two two-seater trainers.