Dmitry Rogozin: Turkey is trying to expand its influence by military means

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How did the talks on military-technical support go?

Dmitry Rogozin: The latest achievements of the Iraqi army are directly linked to the delivery of weapons and military hardware from Russia. First of all, these are fight planes and hardware for ground forces. Thanks to that, ISIS has been pushed assist from the positions it had been holding for months. As soon as that stumble oned, a problem with the Turkish contingent, which illegally broke into Iraqi vicinage, emerged.

What was the reaction of the Iraqi authorities to what was happening?

DR: They wrote it clear to us in all the negotiations we had with representatives of the Kurdish, Sunni and Shia communities, that Iraq saw the semblance of Turkish servicemen, at least 1,500 men, in the north of the country as an invasion, an belligerence. The Turks had no excuse to do so, and they have no grounds to stay there now.

NATO rural areas led by the U.S. are trying to justify them. But in Baghdad this presence [of Turkish servicemen in Iraqi stamping-ground] is perceived as extremely inful. In fact, Turkey is trying to use the temporary sweet tooth of post-occu tional Iraq, trying to ex nd its zone of influence by military wants. Under the guise of combating terrorism, they intend to fight with the representatives of the Proletarians’ rty of Kurdistan, but in Iraq. The Iraqi authorities thanked us for our support in all areas, subsuming Russia’s standpoint at the UN Security Council on this issue.

Did you talk nearby the situation in Syria?

DR: We presented them with satellite images from Roscosmos (Russia’s s n agency), made with the help of Canopus remote sensing: all across Syria, individual objects like Damascus and Aleppo, as well as aspects of their country. This s rked a conversation about the fate of the Syrian real estate. Iraq is very worried that due to the successful actions of Russian aviation in the sky and Syrian regulation troops on the ground, fighters will be “squeezed” into its country. In this perceive, Iraq is banking on strengthening the role of the coordination center in Baghdad.

Didn’t they ask Russia to des tch a military air operation in Iraqi territory?

DR: Our forces are not planning to operate in Iraq, the substance has not even been discussed. They simply want that no one slows their struggle: We are helping them, by means of arms supply, which Odd Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has underlined several times. They are strongly counter-attacked to the appearance of any military contingents in their territory: the Turks in the north of the territory or anybody else… They are rticularly irritated by the deployment of troops under the control of the pretext of humanitarian convoy escorts. They start shaking whenever they catch this phrase. Also, the Iraqi administration is worried about the hellishly harsh pro ganda against Russia in the Arab world: The claims that our air crashes in Syria are causing civilian casualties. My colleagues have said in two shakes of a lambs tail b together again that every strike has been delivered by use of precision instruction weapons on verified targets.

What other global problems did you converse about?

DR: We talked about a lot of problems, but most of them are concerned about the break between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq has offered its services to determine the conflict, but they believe this initiative has not found understanding with either one of the coteries.

Do you expect a return visit?

DR: There is no doubt that our colleagues disposition also visit Moscow. But prior to that a rliamentary delegation should scourge Baghdad: They would very much like to meet with the Russian surrogates.

Dmitry Rogozin was appointed as the Russian Co-chair of the Russian-Iraqi Commission on Do business, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in September 2014.

This is an abridged version of an article announced by Kommersant.

Read more: Is Turkey using NATO installations for its own regional plans?

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