International News

Iraq seeks air defense cooperation with Iran after IRGC downing of US drone

Iraq has called for enhanced cooperation with neighboring Iran in the area of air defense, days after Tehran successfully thwarted an American spying mission by downing a sophisticated surveillance drone over Iranian territorial waters.
Visiting Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Army Tariq Abbas Ibrahim Abdulhussein made the call during a meeting with Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force, Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi-Fard, IRNA reported on Sunday, citing the Army’s Public Relations Office.
The Iraqi official pointed to the Islamic Republic’s advanced capability in designing and manufacturing defensive systems. Baghdad was requesting the cooperation “in the light of the previous instances of observation by Iraqi military delegations of Iran’s defensive capabilities,” he noted.
Such cooperation, he said, would encompass such areas as production, training, logistical support in various fields, including electronic warfare operations, radar operation, optical surveillance, command and control, radar calculations, and software.
Baghdad’s call came after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down an American RQ-4 Global Hawk, which had violated Iran’s airspace from the south, in what has been viewed by observers as a show of Iran’s aerial defense capabilities.
Abdulhussein further said, “Enjoying religious commonalities and facing common enemies has aligned the countries.”
Iran fully prepared
The Iranian commander, for his part, conveyed Tehran’s “complete readiness to meet Iraq’s defensive needs in all areas of expertise concerning manufacturing and supporting air defense systems.”
Sabahi-Fard said Iran had achieved the capability for manufacturing various pieces of air defense equipment, including tactical and deployable radars, missile and artillery systems, signal intelligence gathering, electronic warfare equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The two countries, he stated, were part of the unified Muslim Ummah, which could not be segregated from one another based on political and geographical demarcations.
In April, Iran’s top military commander said the countries had agreed to cooperate in the area of air defense to fend off the challenges facing their respective air spaces.
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the announcement to reporters following a meeting in Tehran with his visiting Iraqi counterpart, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi.
The meeting addressed “the integrated defense of Iran and Iraq’s skies, because we might sense threats coming from the direction of [our] western borders,” Baqeri noted back then.