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Arab Countries Should Turn Away From US-Made to 'More Reliable Russian Weapons'

© Sputnik / Ramil SitdikovThe T-90 tank
The T-90 tank - Sputnik International
Arab countries should replace United States-made weapons with Russian-produced analogues, according to Iraqi military expert Qasi al Myatasim.

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In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, the expert pointed out: "American weapons are not reliable. Russia produce more advanced military equipment, but the US has better propaganda tools. Moreover, when the Americans export their weapons they take out all advanced and complicated electronics [from those systems]."

According to the expert, Russian manufacturers and exporters do not downgrade their weapons.

"Russian weapons can be operational for years. They just need to be maintained, including replacing worn-out parts. This gives much more options. We worked with Soviet-made weapons, and the results were very good," al Myatasim noted.

The expert added that Washington has recently launched a new policy in the region, in compliance with its interests.

Currently, there are talks underway on changing the Iraqi political system and establishing new American military bases in northern Iraq.

"After the US invaded Iraq, a lot of American bases have been established across the country. Some of them were made public, but some of them are still secret. Since 2003, during a three-year period, Washington moved heavy military equipment to Iraq via the Baghdad airport," he said.

One of the two recently delivered F-16 fighter jets from the US is seen on the tarmac at Iraq's Balad air base in the Salaheddin province, north of the capital Baghdad, on July 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Al Myatasim added that all those weapons were delivered to northern Iraq to build military bases there, probably, the "largest military bases in the Middle East."

"But no one knows where those bases are located. They are secret and remote from populated areas," he explained.

The expert suggested that the existence and combat readiness of those bases can be confirmed by a recent statement by President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani.

Preparing to fire an S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile at the Ashuluk proving grounds during an Aerospace Defence Forces tactical drill - Sputnik International
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Last week, Barzani said he would declare region’s independence from Iraq if Iraq Vice President Nouri Maliki returns to the post of the country’s prime minister.

"I will announce the independence of Kurdistan the minute in which Maliki becomes a prime minister, I will not refer to anyone and let whatever needs to happen, happen… I will not remain in an Iraq ruled by Maliki," Barzani told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

Moreover, Barzani also called on the US to keep its military forces in Iraq after the liberation of Mosul from Daesh is completed.

"I hope that the United States will not repeat that mistake [the full withdraw of US forces from Iraq by former President Barack Obama]. I told the military commanders who were on the ground in 2010 and 2011 that if the US forces withdrew from Iraq, it would give an opportunity for terrorism to grow," Barzani said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The current contingent of US forces in Iraq is nearly 15,000 personnel.

"This corresponds with [US President Donald] Trump’s plan to quietly increase the number of American forces in Iraq. He wants to change the balance of power in the region in accordance with Washington’s interests," Al Myatasim concluded.


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