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Tuesday, October 20, 2009     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iraq to replace Russian weapons destroyed by U.S. invasion with . . . more Russian weapons

BAGHDAD — Iraq has been preparing to negotiate a major weapons contract with Russia.


"A large delegation from the Iraqi Defense Ministry will travel to Moscow soon for talks on arms purchases [from Russia]," Iraqi parliamentarian Abbas Al Bayati said.

Most of the Soviet-supplied Iraqi military was destroyed in the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Officials said the Defense Ministry was was interested in Russian helicopters, armored combat vehicles and air defense systems. Secret Gum Disease & Bad Breath Cure, 100% Guaranteed!

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In an interview with Al Iraqiya television, Al Bayati said the Defense Ministry planned to sign major contracts with Russia as well as other countries by 2012, Middle East Newsline reported. He said Baghdad has decided to diversify its military suppliers while maintaining its largely Russian-equipped army. "The military experience of the Iraqi army is based primarily on the Russian weaponry," Al Bayati said on Oct. 16.

Russia has been a major supplier of Mi-17 helicopters for the Iraq Air Force. The Iraqi military and security forces still use the AK-47 assault rifle despite plans to increase the presence of the U.S.-origin M-16.

Officials said the Defense Ministry was also planning to conclude military purchases from France, Germany, Serbia and the United States. They said the deals were meant for both the Iraqi military and security forces.

In April 2009, Iraq and Russia discussed the renewal of defense cooperation and weapons deals.

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