Four new Russian-made aircraft in the framework of a contract that had been previously signed with Moscow arrived in Iraq, the country’s Air Force commander General Hamid Al-Maliki announced yesterday.
Al-Maliki said in a press release: “Today we have received four Russian-made combat aircraft, in accordance with an earlier contract signed by Iraq with Moscow.”
“These aircraft will join the Iraqi aircraft fleet to enter the battle against Daesh in two weeks,” he added.
Iraq suffers a lack of fighter aircraft, which are used to provide air support for ground forces involved in battles against Daesh in the provinces of Saladin, Kirkuk and Anbar.
The US-led international coalition is responsible for providing air support to Iraqi forces in response to a formal request from the Iraqi government. The international coalition launches raids on an almost daily basis against Daesh sites in both Iraq and Syria.
Russia is considered a strategic military and economic ally for Iraq after the United States. During Nouri Al-Maliki’s rule as prime minister, Baghdad signed several arms contracts with Moscow to provide its air defence, air forces and ground forces weapons.