Director of Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade, Igor Korotchenko, suggested that Iraq purchased six Su-30K fighters overhauled in Belarus. Iraqi prime-minister Nouri al-Maliki said earlier that his country purchased a number of used Sukhoi fighters, RIA Novosti reports.
"Most probably this refers to six Su-30K fighters, which were being overhauled by the 558th aircraft repair plant located in Baranovichi (Belarus)", — Korotchenko said.
He explained that 18 Su-30K fighters have been previously operated by Indian air forces and then the jets were returned in accordance with the contract. After that the vehicles were overhauled by the plant located in Belarus.
According to the expert, 12 out of 18 Su-30Ks were purchased by Angola and the rest six ones will likely be delivered to Iraq. "Given that Iraq is being attacked by ISIL terrorist group, the country needs urgent deliveries of combat aircraft in order to counter the aggression", — Korotchenko said.
He also suggested that besides the abovementioned aircraft, Iraq may be interested in purchasing MiG-29 fighters and Mi-24 combat helicopters previously operated by Russia or Belarus.
The governments of Iraq and Syria are trying to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group, which wants to capture and control a large territory rich with oil and gas. Over the last three weeks the members of ISIL supported by Sunni tribes and ex-soldiers of Iraqi army managed to capture several cities of Iraq and territories located on the border with Syria and Jordan. The Iraqi government asked USA and other countries for military support.