A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IISS Says Latest Su-25s in Iraq are Iranian

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London has said that a comparison of registration numbers and tail codes show that the latest shipment of Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft received by Iraq are in fact provided by Iran, not Russia as was the case with the first delivery of aircraft to arrive. This is based on analysis of video released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense  (below).

The Su-25 (NATO reporting name Frogfoot) is a close air support ground attack aircraft developed in Soviet days to carry our missions similar to the American A-10 Thunderbolt (better known as the Warthog). Beyond the irony h US helicopters may be sharing airspace with Iranian jets, there is another irony: Some of Iran's Su-25s were originally Iraqi Air Force aircraft flown to Iran in 1992 to escape Desert Storm and subsequently kept by Iran. Iran has since purchased its own, which are flown by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

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