Senate approves Apache attack helicopter sale to Iraq

A congressional panel has approved the provision of Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, as the government faces an Al Qaeda resurgence there, according to a Senate aide. 

Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee had sought assurances from the State Department that the Shia-majority Iraq government would not use the aircraft against members of the Sunni-minority population. 

"The Chairman is satisfied with the end use monitoring measures that the State Department will exercise to ensure that the Apaches are used in a responsible manner," said the aide. 

The approval clears the way for the sale of as many 30 Apaches. Since the helicopters would take at least three years to arrive, the U.S. is planning to lease 10 to the Iraqi government, that will arrive in six to nine months.