Italy will send four Tornado aircraft to Iraq to serve in a reconnaissance role.
Nov. 14, 2014 - By TOM KINGTON – Defense News
ROME — Italy will send four Tornado aircraft to join coalition operations against the Islamic State in Iraq, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday.
The aircraft, which will be based at Ahmed Al Jaber air base in Kuwait, will be used for reconnaissance missions only, he added.
In a letter sent to the Italian parliament, Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said the aircraft would be accompanied by 135 support staff.
Pinotti said Italy was also dispatching to Iraq a number of Folgore 80mm anti-tank weapons previously used by the Italian Army.
In October, Italy said it would send a 767 tanker aircraft and two unarmed Predator drones to assist operations against fighters in Iraq, as well as 280 instructors.
Italy also sent a loaded C-130J to Baghdad, for shipment to Erbil, on Sept. 12. On board was a collection of arms worth €1.9 million (US $2.4 million), including 100 MG 42/59 machine guns and 100 12.7 Browning machine guns, plus munitions taken from Italian military stocks.
But there were also 2,000 RPG munitions and 400,000 machine gun rounds taken from a collection of arms and munitions seized in 1994 from a vessel allegedly defying a blockade to ship arms to Serbian fighters during the Balkan wars