BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON, D.C. – A senior member of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Commission lashed out at the United States for interference in the country’s military issues and purchases, warning of impacts of foreign meddling in Iraq’s defense procurement plans.
The Arabic-language Al-Arabi al-Jadid quoted Ali al-Qanimi as saying that the US prevents Iraq’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. He added that the missile shield is highly important to protect Iraq’s airspace, warning that the country’s Northern and Western borders are not fully safe.
“Iraq needs advanced missile systems to safeguard its borders,” al-Qanimi said, warning that the country’s current air defense systems are severely out of date.
Iraq (as well as a number of other US allies and vassal states) has repeatedly asked to buy up-to-date air defenses and weaponry from the United States, but their requests have been turned down every single time.
In relevant remarks in May, Chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee Mohammad Reza Al-e Haider warned that if the United States refrains from supplying his country with air defense systems, Baghdad will buy them from Russia.
“Iraq will go towards purchasing S-300 and S-400 from Russia to keep its airspace safe from any foreign aggression,” Al-e Haider told the Arabic-language Wa’a news agency.
“If the US does not support us in having air defense systems, Iraq will buy the Russian systems,” he added.
In 2018, it was reported that Iraq had initiated discussions with Moscow concerning buying the S-400 SAM system. The S-400 was developed to destroy drones, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and fighter jets. So far, the Russian system was proven to be far superior to American and other alternatives.