Middle East

Iraq is considering purchasing S-400 missile system to protect its airspace

Baghdad – North-Press Agency

Ziad Ismail

The purchase of the air defense missile system “S-400” has recently become a subject at meetings of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Prime Minister, after Popular Mobilization Units (al-Hashd ash-Shaʿabi) sites were exposed to aerial attacks by drones and unidentified aircraft.
This made the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to insist more on purchasing the Russian missile system “S-400”, as the Iraqi Ministry of Defense has intensified its meetings with the Russian side, in order to conclude such a deal.
Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesperson Brig- Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim told North-Press that the issue of purchasing the Russian defense system was “one of the subjects of our meetings at the ministry, especially after our joint forces were bombarded by drones, the matter that prompt us to take this issue into consideration, as securing Iraq’s airspace is the most important “.
For his part, the head of the security committee in the Iraqi parliament Muhammad Rida told North-Press that Iraq has defensive systems, “but they’re considered to be old fashioned, and doesn’t  have the  possibility to secure the airspace of Iraq”.
“The systems that we have are placed near sensitive places and religious shrines, where Iraq needs four battalions of the Russian “S-400 “, for the sake of  Iraq’s safety, and the protection of its airspace”.
He stressed that the talks with the Russian side regarding the purchase of the “S-400” missile system were long ago, but the economic situation that Iraq has been through has hindered the purchase process,  and the political pressure by the great powers prevented the conclusion of that deal.
He added that Iraq needs the “S-400” and not “S-300”, so it is necessary that “Moscow-Baghdad talks continue to purchase the missile system”.
“The United States always stands against Iraq’s possession of the S-400 defense systems”, Rida added.
The head of the security committee in the Iraqi parliament, Muhammad Rida, told North-Press that in the next budget no funds were allocated to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to buy such a defense system, “but I expect that the purchase of this system needs three billion dollars. Despite the allocation of these funds, Iraq must convince the U.S. side to buy this defense system from Russia”, Rida pointed out.
In February last year, Washington had warned Iraq and other countries of the consequences of concluding deals to purchase Russian weapons, in accordance with the law “confront America’s enemies through sanctions”.
It is noteworthy that Iraq during the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki,, had concluded several strategic military and security agreements in order to be implemented.

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