'Strategic Security': Why Iraq Needs Russia's S-400 Missile Systems

© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko / Go to the mediabankThe S-400 Triumf air defense system enters service in Sevastopol to protect Russian air borders. File photo
The S-400 Triumf air defense system enters service in Sevastopol to protect Russian air borders. File photo - Sputnik International
Baghdad discussing the purchase of the S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia is completely in line with Iraq's national interests, Ammar Taamah, member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee, has told Sputnik.

Ammar Taamah, member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee, has underscored that it's necessary for Baghdad to purchase weapons from different countries in order "to ensure the best defense and highest combat capability of its army."

"If the Iraqi army possesses weapons from different countries, the military will be able to choose the most suitable kind of arms for a particular situation. In addition, by competing with each other, manufacturers will offer their best conditions and prices," Taamah told Sputnik.

He warned that in the event of Baghdad cooperating with only one arms supplier, it will have a negative impact on Iraq defending itself in case of a possible aggression against the country.

READ MORE: Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Sudan Potential Contenders for S-400 Purchase – Official

"Each country seeks to make its own decisions when it comes to strategic goals, security and policy. Sometimes I hear allegations that Iraq is being given some advice on these issues. However, Baghdad takes such decisions solely on the basis of national interests," Taamah pointed out.

He added that "many in the region and beyond are opposed to Baghdad buying Russian anti-aircraft systems."

"Their motives are clear: Iraq has become stronger since its victory over Daesh*. The country's regional strength and influence are growing, so the question arises, of how strong Iraq will be allowed to become and who may influence this," Taamah noted.

'Diversification of Arms Sources'

He also referred to the ongoing competition between Russian and American weapons, describing Moscow's and Washington's presence in the region as a "strategic issue" which he said may have an impact on the situation in the Middle East.

"We, Iraqi MPs, fully support diversification of the arms sources because this directly affects the strategic security of the country," Taamah concluded.

Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) advance in the Maidan district in Mosul. (File) - Sputnik International
Moscow Backs Baghdad's Counter-Terrorism Work in Iraq
Last week, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari told Sputnik that Iraq is negotiating the purchase of the Russian air defense missile systems S-400 but that possible US sanctions could be an obstacle to that.

Designed to destroy aircraft as well as cruise and ballistic missiles, the S-400 can also be used against ground targets. With the system's range being 400 kilometers, the S-400 is capable of destroying targets at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.

The Iraqi army's victory over Daesh was announced by the country's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in December 2017. However, the terrorist group continues to carry out attacks on selected targets in Iraq after switching to guerilla warfare tactics.

The views and opinions expressed by Ammar Taamah are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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