Iraq needs to purchase Russian S-400 air defense missile systems and diversify its arms imports, Director of the Iraqi Security and Strategy Center, Muataz Mahi Abdel Hamid, told the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik during an interview.
According to Abdel Hamid, the reason behind this need is that the so-called “Western military strategy” has proved to be inefficient.
“The Iraqi leaders realize the need to turn to the Eastern military strategy (and its Eastern partners). The Western military strategy, which we started implementing after 2003 has proved inefficient and unable to ensure adequate control over military operations,” he said. “Some countries in the [Persian] Gulf prefer Iraq to stay under US control. The Americans do not want Iraq to buy S-400s, and insist that the Iraqi military should be armed in accordance with the existing agreement between Baghdad and Washington.”
On February 22, US State Department spokesperson Heather Neuert said that the US has contacted a number of countries, including Iraq, to explain the significance of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as well as recalled possible consequences behind a possible defense cooperation with Russia.
Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has already ordered a team of advisers from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and National Security Council to start negotiations over a possible purchase of the missile systems from the Russians.