Possible arms deal will bring Turkey and Iraq closer – analysts

A possible arms deal between Turkey and Iraq will likely strengthen political ties between the two states, the English-language Saudi daily newspaper Arab News reported on Thursday.

On Aug. 30, Iraqi Defence Minister Juma Inad said Baghdad was interested in buying Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, T129 ATAK attack helicopters, and electronic warfare systems.

According to Arab News, this deal has not yet been finalized and negotiations are underway.

Erol Bural, head of the Ankara-based Research Center for Defence Against Terrorism and Radicalization (TERAM), said that Turkish-built drones in particular would be useful for Iraq given their proven ability to simultaneously monitor and fire at targets.

“For this reason, Iraq wants to control both its borders and conflict areas as well as potential conflict areas using the same method and system,” Bural said.

He added that Iraq possessing such systems “to ensure its own domestic and border security will also contribute to Turkey’s security itself.”

“To what extent the purchase of this new defence equipment, especially armed drones, will be used against terror threats in the region will determine the areas of cooperation between the two countries,” Tuna Aygun, an Iraq expert at the Ankara-based ORSAM think-tank, told Arab News.

A Turkey-Iraq arms deal will likely come with logistics and training support, something Aygun said will bring the two neighbours closer together.