Skip to main content

Iraq seeks to attach strings to arms purchases from Turkey

Talks on the sale of Turkish armed drones and combat helicopters to Iraq have hit snags amid Iraqi efforts to extract concessions on contentious issues in bilateral ties. 
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Read in 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been eager to boost military sales to foreign buyers, but his foreign policy often snags his ambitions. International interest in Turkey’s flourishing defense industry has risen since the Azerbaijani-Armenian war over Nagorno-Karabakh last year, in which the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 armed drones were widely touted as key to Azerbaijan’s military success. Most recently, Iraq has expressed interest in buying TB2 drones and attack helicopters from Turkey, but Baghdad’s efforts to attach strings to the deal has thrown a spanner in the works.

Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inad revealed in late August that Baghdad had reached a preliminary understanding with Ankara to buy an unspecified number of TB2 drones and had also asked for offers for 12 T129 ATAK helicopters and six KORAL electronic warfare systems. The minister spoke after meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar at an international defense industry fair in Istanbul earlier in August. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.