The Chairman of the Security and Defence Committee in the Iraqi parliament, MP Mohammed Redha Al-Haidar, said yesterday that Baghdad is considering purchasing advanced Russian air defence systems to enhance its air capabilities and protect its airspace.
The Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Al-Haidar as saying that Baghdad is studying the purchase of Russian made long-range, surface-to-air S-300 systems or S-400 missile defence systems if the United States does not provide it with modern air defence systems.
“Iraq needs to upgrade its air defence system to protect its sovereignty and prevent any violation of the Iraqi airspace,” Al-Haidar said, adding that Iraq currently owns ineffective American and Russian defence systems.
Next month, Iraq and the United States are expected to discuss the continued presence of American troops in the oil rich state after the Iraqi parliament’s decision earlier this year to remove foreign forces from the country.
Member states participating in the US-led international coalition against Daesh have been withdrawing their troops from Iraqi bases in the governorates of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Anbar and Nineveh.