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Iraqi forces fire on Saudi jets
Iraqi government sources report firing on Royal Saudi Air Force jets. The Saudi planes were engaged north and east of Baghdad and quickly withdrew to Saudi air space. Sources indicate there is no question, the Saudi planes were attacking Shiite militias and providing close air support for ISIS.
Recent intelligence reports have confirmed Saudi Arabia as the source for air resupply drops previously blamed on the US. Reports now indicate that the Royal Saudi Air Force has forward air controllers operating with ISIS forces. Saudi forces have been captured inside Syria while operating there with al Nusra.
After today's Saudi attack on Iraq, any coalition planes flying in Iraqi air space may well face attack by Iraqi air defenses.
Saudi Arabia ended its role as part of the anti-ISIS coalition when it began its air campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Vice President Biden invited King Salman to the Camp David summit in hopes Saudi Arabia would reconsider, not only its participation but curtain supply operations in support of ISIS forces operating against the government of Iraq in Anbar Province.
King Salman chose not to attend.
In a related story, sources direct to President Assad of Syria confirmed that 7 officers, major or above, of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces were being held in Damascus after being captured in Idlib this week. Damascus has confirmed they are holding, not only 7 Saudi officers but also 14 Qatari and 9 Turkish officers as well.
The Syrian government may soon release their names.
US Disarms Iraq
According to Global Security, the US by 2004 had totally disarmed Iraq's air defense capability. By 2004 Iraq was defenseless. When Prime Minister Maliki went to Moscow to sign a 4.2 billion USD contract with Russia, Iraq was open to attack. Its 23,000 air defense guns had been removed by US contractors and sold on the open market.
Iraq's Air Defense System (from RT)
Iraq's Defense Ministry has published photos of Russian arms delivered to the country in accordance with the $4.2 billion contract signed by Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his former Iraqi counterpart Nouri Al-Maliki back in October 2012.
So far Baghdad has received an unspecified number out of the ordered 48 Pantsir-S1 mobile air defense system vehicles, Igla-S MANPADs and some stationary double-barreled Djigit surface-to-air missile launchers. The contract that came into force in 2013 also included delivery of 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles for the abovementioned systems.
Pantsir-S1 air defense complexes can eliminate all types of airborne targets, be they fighter jets, assault helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles or precision bombs, at a maximum range of 20km and heights of up to 15km. Pantsir-S1s can be united into air defense networks, thus increasing their effectiveness in defending large high-importance installations.
The Iraqi army will soon start using Russia's Solntsepek (Sun scorch) heavy multi-launch flame-blast weapons, that use fuel-air explosive munitions for eliminating enemy's manpower and hardware on vast areas at a time, RIA Novosti reported, citing Almada Press news agency. The weapons have been delivered under the contract signed in July 2014.
Since November 2013, Russian military suppliers have delivered to Iraq 12 Mi-35M transport-assault helicopters (16 more to be delivered) and 3 Mi-28NA 'Night Hunter' gunships (12 to be supplied soon).
In late June, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Sunday received five all-weather Su-25 assault fighter jets in accordance with the deal with Moscow. The jets were delivered by a Russian An-124 transport plane in a dismantled state and in several days joined fighting against militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization, currently controlling vast areas of Iraqi territory.
The presentation of the Russian air defense complexes coincided with a statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi, who declared he is "totally" against Arab nations' involvement in airstrikes against the Islamic State on his country's soil.
[Source: By Gordon Duff and Nahed al Husaini, Veterans Today, Damascus, 05Jun15]
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