PM has keen interest in boosting air defense capabilities, says Al-Khafaji

Decision on Patriot systems to be taken ‘when time is appropriate’

BAGHDAD, Jan. 20 – Major General Tahseen al-Khafaji, spokesperson for Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, confirmed Chief of Armed Forces Mohammed Shia al-Sudani’s keen interest in enhancing the Iraqi armed forces’ combat capabilities, focusing especially on air defense. Al-Khafaji mentioned Iraq has many options in this realm, but discussion on details, such as the potential use of the US Patriot system, are premature.

In an interview with 964media, Al-Khafaji emphasized the government’s commitment to arming various military sectors, highlighting the strategy to diversify armament sources to develop capabilities, expertise, and skills for air defense.

Al-Khafaji pointed out that the selection of air force weaponry is driven by Iraq’s challenges and the military’s need to improve air defense capabilities. He reiterated al-Sudani’s strong interest in arming the military, particularly in air defense, through diversified weapon sources and acquiring the capacity to protect Iraq’s land and skies.

Regarding the acquisition of the American Patriot system, Al-Khafaji stated that a decision would be made when appropriate, based on Iraq’s specific requirements and needs.

Prime Minister al-Sudani had previously indicated willingness to cooperate with international coalition countries in terms of armament and training.