US delivers last batch of tanks to Iraq

AP News
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Posted: Aug 29, 2012 1:02 PM
US delivers last batch of tanks to Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. officials say they've delivered the last of 140 tanks to the Iraqi army — a key sale in the American military's small but ongoing training program in Baghdad.

The M1A1 Abrams tanks are valued at $860 million, a cost shared by the two nations. Their sale is part of a $12 billion program to equip and train the Iraqi military with aircraft, ships, radar systems and other weaponry manufactured in the United States.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen said Wednesday that Iraqi soldiers he's seen can operate an American-built tank just as well as their American counterparts. Caslen is the highest-ranking U.S. military official in Iraq.

The last American combat troops withdrew from Iraq in December. Some 230 U.S. troops remain to train Iraqis on the new equipment.