Why the American air defense system didn’t work in Iraq?

In this regard, we decided to satisfy our need for air defense systems through S400 missile systems, which we purchased from Russia

Source: Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty Images

The author of the article is Abdülkadir Özkan. Abdülkadir Özkan is a Turkish journalist, Milli Gazete columnist, where he has been working since 1970, an expert on EU issues. The original article has been published in Inosmi. Translation and editing by Defenseweek’s team.


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Everything went to the fact that the mediated wars that are waged in our region will spill over into a world war, when suddenly the winds of the world blew. In that case, the winds of war that broke out were not real? If so, is it possible to believe in the world that is now prevailing?

As a result of what happened between the United States and Iran in recent days, high tension first arose, but soon there was no trace of it. Moreover, Trump’s words in one of his latest statements about his readiness to sit at the negotiating table with Iran without preconditions unwittingly resemble the expression “to go from one extreme to another”.

Of course, the fact that expectations of a serious conflict, which have reached a peak, have been replaced by such peace-loving moods, cannot but rejoice. But anyway, one way or another you are perplexed: what did yesterday’s statements mean, what happened today? In a word, it will now be especially difficult to believe what is being said. Indeed, in international relations it is necessary to pay more attention to the results of actions than to words. And Trump’s threats against Iran and the Iranian leadership’s threats against the United States may imply not so much mutual challenges as signals oriented to public opinion in their countries.

Which of the statements made is true, which is false, to what extent they reflect reality, it is unclear. And it looks like we won’t know it. However, I want to dwell on another important point. For many years we wanted to purchase Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems from the USA. But the United States refused to sell us these systems.

In this regard, we decided to satisfy our need for air defense systems through S-400 missile systems, which we purchased from Russia. This caused tension in our relations with the United States, and even led to the imposition of sanctions. In other words, the USA did not sell us Patriot missile systems and at the same time reacted sharply to the fact that we bought air defense systems from Russia. This position did not have an obvious logical explanation. It was the most cowboy of the United States.

Those days were left behind, but when Iran launched a missile attack on two American bases in Iraq, the American Patriot systems did not even work, and if they did, they could not defuse a single Iranian missile. This should be seriously considered. If the Patriot missile systems do not help protect even their own American bases, then it’s good that they didn’t sell them to us!

Thus, given that the US began robbery in Iraq, Iran launched missiles at US bases, but none of them caused serious damage, and if it did, then both sides concealed this fact. You should think about the question of how convincing the statements in the spirit of “let’s stop there” are convincing. Since we know for sure that the United States attacked the convoy of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, and Iran attacked American bases about the damage inflicted, I think it will soon become known, and until then there will be more questions.

Of course, attempts will be made to unravel why Iranian missiles launched at American bases at a time when tension reached such a serious scale transformed the state of war into an atmosphere of peace. Perhaps a definite agreement was reached between the two countries, and the war suddenly disappeared from the agenda? Or how much do the statements voiced reflect the reality? Indeed, in diplomacy, action is more important than words.

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