By: Tyler Rogoway | February 26, 2018 | The Warzone
The Iraqi MP who heads the country's security and defense committee, Hakim Al Zamili, has been quoted as making the case for Baghdad to pursue a modern integrated air defense and surface to air missile system—namely Russia's much touted S-400 system.
Al Zamili stated the following according to Russia's TASS News Agency:
"Iraq has the right to own cutting-edge weapons to defend its territory and air space from air attacks... Terrorism targets our country abundant in places sacred for every Iraqi. There are signs and warnings that extremists might use aircraft for attacks on those shrines, which cause lots of worries and anxiety in the country... America is a developed country, not less than any other. However, the World Trade Center was attacked by planes... So Iraq intends to possess such a system as S-400 to defend the land, shrines and air space. We are serious about that.... [The U.S.] is unwilling to equip Iraq with arms and to supply it with systems that will ensure comprehensive protection in its territory and air space...but wants Iraq to be an open arena for realization of [US] plans. That is why, Iraq needs to have own [anti-aircraft] systems, it is our right to obtain them."
An Iraqi delegation is heading to Moscow soon to discuss the purchase of S-400 batteries for the Iraqi military according to the report. The country already fields a number of Russian weapon systems that were acquired after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein. These include Mi-28 attack helicopters, Su-25 attack jets, Pantsir-S point air defense systems, T-90S tanks, among other systems. The war-weary country has moved increasingly away from American weapons purchases in recent years and Russia isn't their only vendor. For instance, Iraq has also bought unmanned aircraft from China, L159 light attack jets from the Czech Republic, and T-50 fighter-trainers from South Korea. READ MORE...
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