12.10.2012 – ERBIL-Hewlêr, – | AFP | Reuters –  Kurdish Alliance MP Shwan Mohammed Taha expressed Friday his fears of coming arming Iraqi forces with Russian and Czech arms, without any conditions, as done by other US and western countries. US and western countries’ conditions stipulated not to use their arms for internal conflicts or offensive attacks. As a member of Security and Defence Parliamentary Commission, he confirmed that “buying these weapons to counter terrorism is unacceptable, because countering such attack usually done by light weapons, not planes and artillery”.

 He stressed that armament agreement should be referred to the parliament, as stipulated by the constitution.

Russia on Tuesday announced signing more than $4.2 billion in arms deals with Iraq, making it the largest weapons supplier of the violence-torn Middle East nation after the United States.  Russian media said the deliveries — agreed over the preceding few months and not in a package expected to have been unveiled this week — covered 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems. Meanwhile on Friday Czech republic to deliver 28 L-159 fighter jets to Iraq for $1 billion and Czech experts will participate in the training of Iraqi pilots, Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Sadun al-Dulaymi Friday.

In August 2012, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that the country will receive in spring the first shipment of the F-16 deals which the country signed with the US two years ago.

In September 2011 Iraq ordered 18 of the lower standard fighters for $4.2bn from Lockheed Martin, and later in December ordered another 18 from the company in addition to spares and support for $2.3bn. Iraq hopes to build a fleet of 96 F-16 jets, which will start flying around 2014-15.

Some of Iraq’s neighbors and the president of the Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, have said they areworried about Baghdad acquiring the jets. “I feel Kurdistan’s future is in severe danger because of (Maliki),” Barzani said in April 2012. “F-16 (jets) should not reach the hands of this man (Maliki).”

Barzani alleged that Maliki had discussed using F-16s against Kurdistan during a meeting with military officers. “During a military meeting, they talked about problems between Baghdad and Erbil ,” Barzani said. “They told him, ‘Sir, just give us the authority, and we would kick them out of Erbil ,'” Barzani said. “And (Maliki) answered: ‘Wait until the arrival of the F-16.'”