Iraq will at long last be getting the first batch of F-16 fighter jets it ordered four years ago, its air force commander said Thursday, a shipment that is expected to boost Iraq’s capabilities in battling the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Lt. Gen. Anwar Hama Amin said the fighters would arrive on July 12 along with the U.S.-trained Iraqi pilots and spare parts and would immediately begin carrying out operations, according to a statement posted late Wednesday on the Defense Ministry’s web site.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad did not confirm the date, and only said the planes were expected by the summer. […]