Rivals' competition in the air - Is Baghdad a friend of Russia or Turkey? - ednews.net

17 January, Monday

Rivals' competition in the air - Is Baghdad a friend of Russia or Turkey?

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Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which resonated around the world after the Karabakh war, has aroused serious interest in many countries. The situation has even become such that some states have been forced to reverse the agreements they reached in order to acquire Bayraktar.

The Iraqi government, which agreed to buy 12 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia for $120 million, has decided to abandon the deal and buy the Bayraktar TB2. Even sources in Russia have confirmed that Baghdad's decision is aimed at strengthening airspace. At present, the Iraqi government intends to spend the same amount to buy 20 Bayraktar TB2. It is said that the Iraqi side wants to get Bayraktar, especially in order to control the border with Syria from the the space.

The Iraqi government's choice was, in fact, somewhat unexpected for Russia. Iraq, which first signed a document with Russia, later changed its mind and inclined to Turkish drones, making Turkey a potential obstacle to Russia. In this case, the question arises: what will be the consequences of this rivalry in relations between Turkey and Russia?

Another issue is the extent to which Iraq is a reliable trading partner as a customer. In other words, can Iraq, which is giving up coop with Russia today, show the same attitude to Turkey when it finds something better than Bayraktar tomorrow?

Speaking to EDNews.net, independent Turkish political analyst Goktugh Chalishkan first spoke about the consequesnces for the future relations between Russia and Turkey, as well as bringing clarity to Iraq's merky decision. 

"Everyone knows that Iraq is not a country that can make free decisions," he said. I think Baghdad's cancellation of the agreement with Moscow on the MiG-29s for Bayraktar TB2 is due to the United States. Because the US administration opposes Iraq's purchase of any weapons from Russia. For this reason, I think that the Iraqi government, at the dictation of the United States, violated the agreement with Russia and decided to buy Bayraktar.

As for Russia's attitude towards Turkey, I think Iraq's refusal to buy Russian drones from Turkey will not seriously affect relations between the two countries. Because this situation is also related to a free economy. In general, Iraq can buy weapons from anywhere. Therefore, I do not think that the situation will damage relations between the two countries in the short and medium term."

Goktugh Chalishkan spoke about Iraq's volatility in terms of trust and the possibility that this volatility will one day affect Turkey as well.

As I mentioned earlier, Iraq's choice of Bayraktar is not its own will. The main influential factor here is the United States. We are talking about a free market. It is true that Iraq is so-called independent and may seem free in such a choice. But I would say with confidence that if it had left to Iraq, it would have made a different choice.

I would also like to note that when the United States finds a better alternative to Bayraktar in the future, it will be reflected in the position of Iraq and other countries. "

Elnur Enveroglu

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