Iraq, France Near Arms Deal

France and Iraq are about to conclude an important arms agreement providing for the sale of French-made missiles, helicopters and possibly combat planes. The negotiations for this massive sale of French hardware entered a final phase during French Defense Minister Yvon Bourges recent trip to Baghdad. Bourges, who returned to Paris last night, said that he had studied the needs of the Iraqi army.

Sources in Paris say France will supply Iraq with a variety of Crotale missiles, ground-to-air, ground-to-ground and ground-to-sea. The Crotale has the reputation of being one of the world’s most accurate ground-to-air rockets and has been chosen by Saudi Arabia to ensure its anti-aircraft defense umbrella. The French-made missile is especially deadly for low flying aircraft and has an exceptional accuracy level for near-approach planes.

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