By Kristina Wong - 01/27/14 05:31 PM EST
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 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.