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Russia Sends Anti-Aircraft To KRG

  • Middle East Newsline
  • March 18,
  •  2016
 A Russian diplomat said the Russian Defense Ministry oversaw a
shipment of anti-aircraft artillery platforms and ammunition to the Kurdish Regional Government in March 2016. The diplomat identified the artillery as the ZU-23 anti-aircraft artillery.
  ”The weaponry was transferred in the presence of the Russian ambassador and consul-general as well as the Peshmerga deputy chief of general staff,”
Russia’s consulate-general in Iraq, Artyom Grigoryan, said.
  In remarks to Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti News Agency, Grigoryan said KRG received ZU-23 artillery guns as well as 20,000 shells. He said five anti-aircraft systems arrived in northern Iraq on March 14.   ZU-23 has been described as a 23 mm Soviet-era weapon with a range of  2.5 kilometers. The twin-barrel gun could also be used against ground targets, including vehicles and troops.
  Grigoryan said the Russian delivery was coordinated with the Baghdad government. He did not elaborate, but officials said arms talks between Moscow and KRG were planned for April.
  ”After the delivery of weapons shipment on March 14, the Russian ambassador said it was not a single delivery,” Grigoryan said. ”The ambassador stressed that Russia is hoping that these weapons will help the Peshmerga [Kurdish] and the Iraqi armed forces to defeat Islamic State terrorists.”


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