On April 12 The Guardian reported that russia was receiving ammunition and military equipment from Iraq to use it in its war against Ukraine. According to Guardian’s source, this is done with the help of Iranian arms smuggling networks.
The publication refers to information from members of Iraqi fighters backed by Iran and regional intelligence services.
The Guardian notes that RPGs and anti-tank missiles, as well as Brazilian-developed multiple rocket launchers, were sent to Russia, and that the Tehran authorities gave Moscow an Iranian-made Bavar 373 missile system similar to the Russian S-300. According to the Guardian source, on April 1, a group of Shiites “Hashd al-Shaabi” dismantled and sent in two self-propelled multiple rocket launchers Astros II of Brazilian development, known in Iraq as a licensed version of Sajil-60.
But we looked into it and we started to have questions.
The thing is that Russia already has a lot of its own anti-aircraft missile systems, as our expert Stanislav Mankov notes, so it does not seem logical to pull an Iraqi copy of the S-300, which Russia already has.
And the situation with the Astros II MLRS (multiple rocket launcher) is just as strange, Mankov says, given that Russia also has a lot of MLRS. Besides, he adds, that Astros II is not very compatible with the available stockpile of missiles for Soviet-Russian MLRS russia has.
“There is no point in pulling arms from Iraq through Iran that Russia already has: S-300 SAMs, Tornado-level MLRSs and unnamed RPGs and ATGMs,” he said.
Not to mention that the S-300 is air defense and equipment used mainly in defense against missiles and aircraft. This is definitely not the weapon that Russia needs the most at the moment.
So the question arises: why should Russia supply these weapons, when it has enough of its own SAM, MLRS and RPG with ATGM? According to Mankov, these Iraqi weapons are also not of a qualitatively new level.
So the possible answer: it’s a cover up
“Maybe it’s a cover up for something else . Most likely, something sanctioned and of western production: tank thermal imagers, critical avionics components for airplanes and helicopters, optics or communication systems, components for UAVs.
Of course, Stanislav Mankov stressed, this is just an assumption. But history has shown examples of countries trying to circumvent arms embargoes or similar restrictions by concealing the sale, deception, and disguise , and Sudan arms purchases in Russia and China, with ammunition being repackaged to conceal their origins is just one of such examples.
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