Death by Proxy: Iraq Reaches for Air Power

[Below] 16-Apr 2015: Iraqi Air Force  F-16D-52-CF 1601 transiting through Lages AB in the Azores on its delivery flight to Iraq. When the aircraft will be employed against Daesh is unknown. All military hardware sold to Baghdad should also be best understood as 'a technology transfer' to Iranian intelligence. [ACIG]
[Above] 01-Mar 2015: Iraq has returned as a client state for Russian military sales after the departure of American forces in 2011. Baghdad has purchased and received delivery of a number of Russian Mi-28ME attack helicopters. The soft Ruble recently has made Russian hardware the bargain of a lifetime.
29-Nov 2014: IRIAF (Iranian Air Force) F-4 Phantom aircraft have performed at least six attack sorties on ISIS targets in Iraq in response to a Daesh counterattack against Iraqi ground forces. The rumor is that IRIAF and US-Navy are coordinating close air support interdiction sorties with each other!! The events on the ground have moved far (far) ahead of the politics. The reporters commentary in clip is incorrect as the aircraft are identified as Iraqi. They are not. They are Iranian F-4 Phantom IIs:

As the gruesome civil war in Syria grinds into its third year, and with prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia publicly out of the picture. Saudi Arabia/Gulf State-supported ISIS/L Wahhabist, fighting a 3-front war in Syria (against Assad, Syrian rebels, and Syrian Kurds) instead turned and attacked deep into predominately Sunni areas of Iraq. This also resulted in large ISIS seizures of US-supplied Iraqi military hardware.

Saudi Arabia has vigorously denied supporting the ISIS/L. However Saudi Arabia's history with Wahhabism - is a matter of historical fact.

In a move of utter military stupidity - it appears ISIS is moving captured US-supplied Iraqi hardware - back into Syria - to be used there! Please scroll down for more details.

If ISIS threatens Iraqi oil output - we predict direct Western military intervention. 

Iraq has returned as a military client state for Russia. In addition, Iran is now supplying pilots and aircraft directly to Iraq.

The fast-moving events on the ground by ISIS/L has resulted in Russian, American, and Iranian military (technical and intelligence) people in Baghdad - at the same time.

Grizzly killings/reprisal killing of four young people in Israel threatens to escalate into war. To his credit, Benyamin Netanyahu initially had shown great poise - and actively denounced all killing(s) and to resist a cycle of violence. However - the rocket are flying from Gaza - and Iron Dome is very busy. IDF has changed tactics from 2008 by using weapon-locating-radar to direct counter-fire missions which also include a first shot low-yield/no-yield warning shell as well as NO use of incendiary air-burst artillery as in 2008. Though these and other IDF changes should be applauded - we still have an appalling situation that requires a ceasefire. The Middle East is again engulfed in eye-for-an-eye.


08-Jul 2014: There are concerns that Maliki government may use its new found air power to attack 'others' wanting autonomy - namely the Kurds. We'll need to watch this closely. It is possible the strike (see hyperlink) was a mistake - and this will be self-evident shortly.

05-Jul 2014: Unconfirmed reports that Iraqi forces have recaptured the village of Awja and also making progress in retaking Iraq’s largest oil refinery in Beiji where airstrikes (Iranian flown Su-25s??) reportedly hit eight ISIS vehicles killed up to 30 militants there. Also, report of an Iraqi helicopter strike near the Syrian border. Iran says one of it pilots was killed in the fighting on the ground.

03-Jul 2014: Excellent report from Vice News.



[Above] 01-Jul 2014: Three Russian hastily supplied Su-25 (NATO: "Frogfoot") ground attack/CAS aircraft have been joined by Su-25s flown in from Iran. These are the first (first) frontline IrAF fixed-wing jet aircraft operating since the end of the American occupation in 2011.

[Above] What appears to be an ex-Russian machine with hastily applied Iraqi markings.

Again we turn to the ACIG for their expertise on day-to-day developments - Details and information will change.

New Iraqi Su-25 squadron details [ACIG]:
"Yesterday and today all seven operational Su-25s of IRGCAF (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Air Force) including three Su-25UBKM and four Su-25KM landed in Baghdad and joined those all delivered Su-25s from Russia. Ten Iranian pilots together with four Iraqi pilots are now flying the machines.
Identity of that first delivered ex-Russian AF are former East German-based Su-25 (899th Aviation Regiment Buturlinovka). Maintenance of these Iraqi Su-25s will be granted to the Russia and Pars Aviation MRO Center engineers.

One more Su-25K (15-2450) will join them after its overhaul and modernization at Pars Aviation MRO Center.

Iraq has ordered six Su-30K or (KN from Belarus?) for Iran to be stationed at Abu Musa Island in the Persian Gulf. [Unconfirmed. In 2012 it was reported that Vietnam would try to buy India’s older Su-30K that had been transferred to the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant in Belarus for upgrades. However, Belarus may be keeping the Su-30K for its own air force.]

Three of seven operational Su-25s of IRGCAF arrived Baghdad in the evening of today. 15-2459 (Su-25UBK, which was delivered IRGCAF by Ulan-Udeh in January 2013), 15-2451 (Overhauled and modernized by Pars Aviation MRO Center in 2011) and 15-2456 (modernized and overhauled in 2012). [Some these aircraft are originally Iraqi aircraft inherited by Iran during the 1991 Gulf War - see below].


[01-Jul, 2014] These airplanes piloted by two Iraqi and two Iranian pilots departed Mehrabad International Airport today  morning. Their delivery in Baghdad has filmed and reported by local Iraqi medias today:"



According to TASS more hardware is heading for Iraq including Mi-35M and Mi-28NE attack helicopters in a contract signed in 2012 for ~ $4.2 billion.

Again: rumors are flying that the IrAF will acquire Su-30k fighters FOR IRAN. This aircraft (properly equipped and flown) will charge the strategic balance in the middle east and the gulf.

In Baghdad, the Shiite-dominated Iran-US-backed Maliki government - in what is effectively panic -  requested emergency air strikes from the West (read: the United States). American F-16IQ Block 52 fighters and Apache helicopters have yet to be delivered to the Maliki government. So Russia quickly stepped in to supply at least two (of five) Su-25 ground attack/CAS aircraft for the IQAF (Iraqi Air Force) which arrived 28-Jun 2014.
[Above/Below] These photos were widely published. Iraq has historically been a Soviet-Russian client state. Reportedly the Su-25 may have been stored at 121st Aircraft Repair Plant at Zhukovsky.
In addition, reportedly no Iraqi maintenance personnel exist so Russian personnel will be stationed to maintain the aircraft. Iraq apparently has aircrew to pilot and employ these Su-25 machines.


Iraq already operates a variety of Russian and Western helicopter and propeller-driven aircraft. However, Iraq had no longer fielded any front-line fixed-wing jet aircraft after the American occupation ended in 2011.

[Above/Below] In a move of utter military stupidity several sources are reporting that ISIS is moving captured US-supplied Iraqi hardware back into Syria. If true, this is tactical suicide as no US built artillery, Humvees, tanks, or MRAP vehicles are currently in Syria.
ISIS will - overnight - become easy IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) targets not only for the SyAAF (Syrian Air Force) but also Syrian-rebel and Kurdish groups fighting ISIS in Syria.....incredible!
Waving black flags and smiles aren't going to save this war booty driving into Raqqa, Syria. We expect this hardware to be destroyed by opposing forces in Syria in a somewhat-short time frame.
Some are suggesting the Assad regime will allow ISIS to stay in Syria - we do not think the Russians (or the Israelis) will be comfortable with that proposition. As history shows - these groups tend to turn on their handlers. Time will tell.
[Below] American supplied ex-Iraqi heavy towed-artillery (this appears to be a M198 155mm Howitzer) arrives in Ar-Raqqah, Syria.
photo: Aymenn J Al-Tamimi via Twitter
[Below] 14-Jun 2014. Indeed Iraqi Army Aviation conducted over a dozen interdiction rotary-wing sorties against ISIS in Iraq including two Mi-171E [below] armed with S-8 rockets.
[Below] One EC-635 armed with FN Herstal HMP-400 with 12.7mm gun [ACIG]

 [Above] Two Bell 407s loaded with Hydra rocket launchers.
[Above] one SA-342 Gazelle and [below] one Mi-24V.




If ISIS threatens Iraqi oil output (especially in the south) we predict Western military intervention.

Your thoughts?

#Iraq, #ISIS

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