Italy is to send A-129 Mangusta (pictured) and NH90 helicopters to Iraq
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Italy officially decided on Wednesday to send infantry troops to Iraq and base 8 planes in Erbil, according to a statement form the Italian Defense Ministry.
Roberta Pinotti, the Italian defense minister, announced in a statement that her country is planning to send four A-129 Mangusta helicopters and four NH90 military helicopters in the coming days.
Pinotti revealed that the helicopters are going to be based in the Kurdistan region capital, Erbil and will conduct combat as well as search and rescue operations.
The chief of staff of the KRG's Peshmerga ministry, Jabar Yawar, told Rudaw that "the Peshmerga ministry welcomes the Italian Defense Ministry decree to send troops to Iraq, we were already aware that Italy was going to base its helicopters here in Erbil."
Pinotti has also mentioned that 130 Italian infantry troops will be sent to Iraq to confront the Islamic State (ISIS) and protect Italian military personnel, investors and the staff of an Italian company currently working on repairing the Mosul Dam.
Yawar also said that the helicopters will "protect an Italian military force which is expected to be stationed at the Mosul Dam."
On Wednesday, the Iraqi government signed an agreement with Italian TREVI Company in an amount of 273 million Euro to repair Mosul damn. The reconstruction in the dam will take 18 months according to the agreement.