Russian intervention in Iraq

I guess this news won’t trouble the anti-interventionists too much — some forms of intervention seem more palatable than others.

The Associated Press reported over the weekend: Russia’s deputy foreign minister called on the United States and Europe to take “serious” steps to combat terrorism during a visit to Damascus on Saturday, warning that several Middle Eastern countries are threatened.

“Russia will not stand idle toward attempts by terrorist groups to spread terrorism in regional states,” Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, apparently referring to the rapid advance of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant across eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

The Daily Beast now reports: While the Obama administration struggles to speed up delivery of U.S. military assistance to the government of Iraq, Vladimir Putin has already delivered not only fighter jets but also the pilots needed to fly them, diplomatic sources told The Daily Beast.

On Monday, Russian television trumpeted the arrival of the first five of 12 promised Sukhoi Su-25 combat fighter jets to the Iraqi government, saying it had also sent “trainers” to help the Iraqis use them. Gen. Anwar Hama Ameen, the commander of the Iraqi Air Force, told The New York Times the fighter jets would enter the battle against ISIS within a few days, after which the Russian trainers would leave Iraq. He said Iraq had plenty of pilots with “long experience” flying the Su-25. The Russian ambassador to Iraq also said Russian pilots would not fly missions inside Iraq.

Perhaps. But diplomatic sources told The Daily Beast that Russian pilots will fly the planes due to a lack of Iraqi pilots with the proper training. Neither Russia nor Iraq as explained how the Iraqi air force could possibly have pilots trained and ready to fly the Russian fighters. The Su-25 planes were used in the Iraq-Iran war but have not been employed in Iraq since at least 2002, when Iraq’s military was controlled by the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein.

Last week, Gen. Anwar Hama Ameen, the commander of the Iraqi Air Force, told the New York Times:

“We have pilots who have long experience in this plane and of course we have the help of the Russian friends and the experts who came with these aircraft to prepare them.”

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One thought on “Russian intervention in Iraq

  1. Charlie

    What none discuss if the geopolitical ramifications possible if Iraq can (with the assistance of Russia, Iran, China and Syria et cetera) thwart the Sunni insurgency without a significant American military involvement. Whilst America’s diplomacy idly awaits the current Iraqi government’s hesitant action to remove itself from power (akin to taking Iran’s reins from their hands), Russian heavy fixed-wing close support aircraft and ‘technicians’ along with Iran’s Jerusalem Quad ‘advisors’ could conceivably captured territories from these young inexperienced idealist’s quickly and effectively enough so that their mentoring body i.e., Baathist tactiticians, might migrate and/or evaporate off the battlefield before America has a chance to negotiate themselves out gracefully in the eyes of watchful neighbors. Where. would this leave others e.g., Japanese, and Turkish allies et cetera? There is nire vacuum being created by the current administration than pressure, which seems to be replaced suddenly by opportunisticwantabe empires again faster than what should be the world’s Supper Power Police force. Sea lanes of supply and strategically critical resources are fast going under control of a an unknown entities with consequences to match if someone doesn’t take the helm a steer a more strategic course suddenly. CGA

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