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article imageIraq interested in buying a Russian air defense system

By Ken Hanly     Jan 11, 2020 in Business
Iraq is interested in purchasing Russian S-300 air defense systems. Russia's S-300 and S-400 systems have been popular purchases as many consider them more cost-effective than US alternatives while still top of the line.
Iraq official confirms talks underway with Russia
Mohammed Reza who heads Iraq' Security and Defense Committee, has confirmed that talks have restarted between Russia and Iraq on the possible purchase of S-300 air defense systems. Top Iraqi leaders appear interested in a deal.
However Reza
pointed out: “I do not know frankly the stage where the negotiations have reached, because I am not involved in them. All I know is that there is approval from the high Iraqi leadership for such negotiations.”
Russia has suggested Iraq purchase the S-400 system
Igor Kurushchenko, a member of the General Council of the Russian Ministry of Defense, claimed that Iraq could improve its air defense capabilities through purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system. Kurushchenko noted: “Iraq is a partner to Russia in the field of technical military cooperation. Russia can send the necessary means to ensure the country's sovereignty and reliable protection of its airspace, including the supply of S-400 missiles and other parts of the air defense system.”
Kurushchenko also said that the recent US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia commander in an airstrike clearly showed the need for Iraq to improve its air defenses. However, equally significant is the ability of Iran to also fire 13 missiles into Iraqi territory aimed at US bases. Iraq needs to be able to protect itself from missiles fired from Iran as well.
Iraq has expressed interest
in having some non-US equipment in their arsenal of equipment. No doubt the US will not be pleased if the Iraqis buy a Russian system. It will be interesting to see if US President Trump tweets on the issue.
More about Russia Iraq relations, Iraq, Russian air defense systems
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