An Iranian official said the country has supplied Iraq with Sukhoi Su-25 fighter planes for intensifying anti-ISIS operations, but Baghdad has denied the claims, according to a report by Asharq Al-Awsat.
A senior commander of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brigadier General Pilot Shamseddin Farzadipour was quoted as saying by FARS news agency over the weekend that Iran positively responded to Iraq's demand to supply the country with Sukhoi 25 fighter jets as part of the two countries’ weapons cooperation.
“ISIS’ presence in Iraq and its rapid occupation of Iraqi cities made the Iraqi government demand Iran's assistance to confront the terrorists," Farzadipour was quoted as saying. “Iraqi pilots launched air operations in the outskirts of Baghdad two days after the planes were transferred to Iraq and combat operations were carried out with the support of the Iraqi ground forces and Popular Mobilization Forces”.
However, an Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat said that there was no cooperation protocol between Iraq and Iran that includes aircraft, such as the Sukhoi jets.
The source noted that since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Iran did not return any of the airplanes. Iraq had moved 137 jets to Tehran in 1991 to avoid them being destroyed by coalition aircraft during the second Gulf war.
Iran and Iraq definitely have weapons cooperation, asserted the source, adding that Tehran provided Baghdad with various arms, especially during its war on ISIS.
He insisted, however, that no cooperation protocol exists for warplanes.