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Russia Strengthens Iraqi Military To Fight ISIS

Sept. 1, 2014 (EIRNS)—Two days before Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani told an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council, that the Islamic State, set up by the Islamic State of Iraq and el-Sham (ISIS) using terrorist methods, and arms and money from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, and the United States, is threatening Iraq’s territorial integrity and posing a global threat, Russia has delivered a batch of Mi-28 Night Hunter attack helicopters to Baghdad on Aug. 30, Iraq’s Defense Ministry said on its website. "These helicopters will be put into operation to contribute to the military’s struggle against the Islamic State terrorist group," the ministry said. Russia has been ramping up its support for the Iraqi government as it struggles to contain the spread of the radical Islamic State from war-torn Syria to Iraq.

Earlier in late June, five Russian Sukhoi fighter jets had arrived in Iraq to help the Iraqi Air Force to battle the well-equipped ISIS terrorists, the country’s Defense Ministry said. The jets were delivered by a Russian An-124 transport plane in a dismantled state. "The Sukhoi Su-25 is an air-ground support and anti-terrorism mission aircraft. In these difficult times, we are in great need of such aircraft. With God’s help, we will be able to deploy them to support our ground forces on a mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL/ISIS] militants within the next three to four days," Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Anwar Hamad Ameen Ahmed told Russia Today’s Ruptly news agency on June 29 as the jets arrived at the airport.

Russian experts have also arrived in Iraq to help the army to prepare the new Russian warplanes in the fight against Sunni extremists. The Russian move was at least an implicit rebuke to the United States, which the Iraqis believe has been too slow to supply American F-16s and attack helicopters. U.S. delivery is still on hold while the terrorist group continues to gain ground in western Iraq.