Budget for weapons procurement earmarked

Prime Minister directs military leaders to identify necessary armaments

BAGHDAD – Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has instructed Iraqi military leaders to identify necessary weapons for national defense. This directive was issued during the third meeting of the High Committee for Armament on Wednesday, according to a statement from the prime minister’s media office.

The meeting focused on the armament needs of various branches of the Iraqi armed forces to enhance their combat and operational capabilities in addressing security challenges. Al-Sudani highlighted the significance of the armament program within the government’s agenda, emphasizing its importance in ending the presence of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and addressing diverse security threats.

Due to rising tensions between Iraq and the United States following the events of October 7, Iraq is seeking to end the Coalition’s presence and instead renegotiate bilateral security agreements with coalition member states.

During the meeting, Al-Sudani emphasized that completing the armament procedures is now a necessary and urgent priority, stressing that these procedures must be legal, transparent, and meet all requirements. He assured participants that the necessary financial allocations for armament have been included in the 2024 budget. Additionally, he instructed that all observations from regulatory bodies regarding previous contracts be considered.

Al-Sudani also directed the relevant technical authorities to finalize their procedures and proceed with the legal steps in selecting companies based on preliminary research conducted with other countries.

The statement did not reveal the names of potential companies or countries from which the weapons would be procured, nor did it specify the types of weapons to be purchased. Prior to 2003, Iraq primarily relied on Soviet and Russian-made weapons. However, following the 2003 War, the Iraqi military has increasingly relied on U.S.-made weapons.