The United States could lose billions of dollars in arms sales to Iraq should Baghdad evict US troops from it soil and scale down its military relationship with Washington.
Following the assassination of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani in US drone strikes, Iraq asked US troops to leave their country. US President Donald Trump threatened sanctions besides payment of “trillions of dollars” for an air base set up in Iraq if Baghdad were to have its way in demanding a complete troop withdrawal.
Iraq has emerged as one of the biggest customers of American weapons in recent years with sales totaling some $30 Billion since 2011. The advent of the Islamic State brought not only US boots but also equipment and training to Iraqi troops.
Some of the most cutting-edge weapons in US inventory such as the latest version of the F-16 fighter jet, Armed Bell 407GX helicopters, AC-208 Ground Attack aircraft, M1A1 Abrams tank, Humvee vehicles and sophisticated munitions such as Hellfire missiles and Advanced Precision-kill weapons.
For Iraq, scaling down relations with the US has already invited threats of non-support to already supplied military equipment and suspension of training (though from non-official quarters).
Some of the Iraq’s major orders include $4.25 billion for 36 F-16 jets (18 jets each bought in 2011 & 2016), $1.6 billion for 10,000 Hellfire missiles and support (2014, 2016), $700 million for 1200 Humvee vehicles and related support (2014), over $3 billion spent to buy 175 M1A1 Abrams tanks & tank ammunition (2014), $4.8 billion for 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, and $900 million for 50 Stryker vehicles (2013).
“There was a 97% increase in Iraq’s military expenditure between 2007 and 2016. Spending fell by 36% between 2015 and 2016, presumably as a result of IS occupying parts of the country and the fall in oil prices,” says a SIPRI report for 2019.
At the invitation of the Iraqi government, American troops were deployed at Iraqi military bases to train and support local security forces to prevent resurgence of ISIS. Iran-backed Iraqi militia and US troops fought alongside each other during Iraq's 2014-2017 war against IS militants.
“In 2014–16 a highly diverse group of countries that included Germany, Iran, Russia and the USA supplied arms as aid or as commercial sales. Iraq received thousands of light armoured vehicles in 2012–16 (as it had in 2007–11) but the procurements of 29 combat aircraft from the USA, 24 trainer/combat aircraft from South Korea and 43 combat helicopters from Russia were the main contributors to the increase,” the SIPRI report said.
Irans Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have claimed that none of precision-guided Fateh-110 and Qiam-1 ballistic missiles fired at United States military bases in Iraq had been intercepted. The missiles struck Iraqs Ain al-Asad and Erbil airbases on January 8, five days after IRGC head Qasem Soleimani was assassinated by the US
Iran fired indigenously-developed ballistic missiles- Fateh-110 and Qiam-1, that blitzed Iraqs Ain al-Asad airbase fortified with US air defense systems and reportedly housing over 1,500 troops of the US and its allies. “We warn US allies providing bases for the [American] terrorist army… that any country serving as the origin of bellicose and aggressive attacks in any form against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be targeted,” read a statement by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
Irans parliament unanimously passed a bill designating the Pentagon, and the United States military as “terrorists” and has requested for a €200 million fund to strengthen the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, on Tuesday morning. The development has come after Qasem Soleiman, a top Iranian general, was assassinated in US drone strikes outside Baghdad airport on January 3, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes
Eighty million Iranians have been asked to fund a dollar each to be offered as bounty on US President Donald Trump's head for having ordered the airstrikes that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last Friday. "We are 80 million Iranians
Iraqi officials have expressed fear of an economic meltdown if Washington imposed sanctions that it had previously hinted at, including freezing oil-revenue linked bank accounts in the United States in which Baghdad holds an estimated $35 Billion. Oil revenues constitute up to 90% of the states budget and are held in US
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