More Arms For Baghdad: Iraq Buys $4.2 Billion In Russian Weapons

As with most of the dictatorial-run nations in the middle east, this one is sure to turn on the United States in the future. What’s more is that the entire middle east is becoming a radical Islamic caliphate, nation by nation. Iraq looks to be aligning with this bloc.

According to RIA Novosti, a state-controlled Russian news agency, the contract is for 50 Pantsir systems, not 42 – but regardless of that number, it is Russia’s largest arms deal since 2009 and is a huge victory for Russia on the international weapons market, according to the Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technologies, a Moscow-based think tank. The deal may be expanded to include MiG-29 fighter-bombers and other heavy weaponry.

The joint Russo-Iraqi statement said the deals were initially discussed as early as April and revisited again in July and August during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations.

RIA Novosti also quoted arms industry analyst Ruslan Pukhov of the CAST think tank as saying that Iraq’s government “is starting to conduct itself more independently of Washington, and more looking toward Iran.” Which is, of course, the other major Shiite Muslim nation, and has shown a growing proximity with the al-Maliki government in Baghdad.

During the Cold War, Iraq was a a reliable client of the Soviet defense establishment. From 1973 to 2002, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, it bought most of its arms from Moscow, spending 25 billion dollars in constant 1990 money, or 57 percent of its entire arms-importing expenses. 1990 being a relevant year because that’s when most arms sales to Baghdad stopped as Saddam Hussein’s regime invaded Kuwait, leading to international sanctions that would be lifted only after the 2003 invasion, when the United States toppled the Iraqi dictator.

The U.S. during that time sold Saddam less than half of one percent, by value, of the weapons he imported, for a total of just 200 million dollars. Other Western nations sold him far more, largely on the premise that the secular regime in Baghdad was fighting a war (from 1980 to 1988) against the far more unsavory theocratic revolutionary government in Iran, and therefore had to be helped defeat a common enemy.

Full article: More Arms For Baghdad: Iraq Buys $4.2 Billion In Russian Weapons (International Business Times)

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