Tunisia: Army Receives Six US Helicopters to Beef up Anti-Terror Fight

Tunisia: Army Receives Six US Helicopters to Beef up Anti-Terror Fight

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed Saturday inspected six new US-made helicopters delivered to Tunisia to further the army’s capacity to fight terrorism and secure border with neighboring Libya.

The warships, OH-58D Kiowa type, are a first batch of 24 aircrafts deal signed with the US military cooperation agency (DSCA) in May last year. The deal is estimated at $100 million.

The equipment exhibits excellent capacities making them appropriate for day and night operations. They can be used for reconnaissance operations, surveillance, aerial support, protection and determination of stationary or moving targets, a Tunisian government official told French AFP.

The aircraft can also destroy with precision their target, the source said.

The North African country has been affected by unrest in neighboring Libya. Islamic State group militants have used Libya as a launch pad of attacks in the region.

Tunisia was rocked in 2015 by three terrorist attacks all reportedly perpetrated by IS militants trained in Libya. The militants, after sustaining defeat from UN-backed Libyan forces, have been crossing into Tunisia.

Washington and several other western capitals have been supporting Tunisia in its fight against terrorism, mainly in securing its 500 km-border with Libya.

The North African country received in January additional two American speed vessels to help in the fight against illegal migration and terrorism. Two other vessels will be delivered in one year time aside from the four already delivered.

In 2015, Washington designated Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO Ally, paving the way for the country to receive military support from NATO.

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