BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 P.M.) – The head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, Muhammad Ridha, accused Washington of exerting pressure on Iraq to prevent it from dealing or cooperating militarily with Russia, expecting the Iraqi army to develop if Baghdad succeeded in laying the foundations for arms and training agreements with the Russian side.
“We in the Security and Defense Committee aspire to Iraq to diversify its weapons, especially with the Russian side, and we have historical relations with Russia in terms of training, arming and military relations with the Russian side, and even in the field of security and intelligence,,” Ridha said in a statement to Russia’s Sputnik Agency.
He continued: “I met a few months ago with the Russian ambassador in Iraq and there is a complete desire to cooperate in support of Iraq in terms of training and arming, but frankly there are American pressures on Iraq to prevent dealing or cooperating with Russia with regard to military cooperation.”
He stressed: “If the Iraqi government succeeds in laying the foundations for arms and training agreements with Russia, the Iraqi army will develop and take steps and be able to develop its security and intelligence capabilities.”
The Iraqi parliamentarian added: “There was training and courses and it was very successful, and therefore we strongly encourage this approach of the government and always urge the government to this approach so that the United States does not control the development and arming of the Iraqi army .”
On December 7, the Iraqi Defense Minister, Jumah Inad, discussed with the Russian ambassador to Iraq, Maxim Maximov, bilateral relations between the two countries on the security side.
A statement by the Ministry of Defense stated, “The Minister of Defense met in his office, on Sunday, the Russian Ambassador, Maxim Maximov, and during the meeting, they discussed relations between the two countries regarding the security and training aspects.”
Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, said earlier during a visit to Russia that Inad would soon visit Moscow.
The Iraqi land, sea, and air forces are currently relying mainly on American weapons, but they previously acquired T-90 tanks from Moscow, which strengthened their armored brigades in the military.