Russia has supplied Iraqi Kurds with five ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, as reported by RIA Novosti. The weapons were transferred on March 14th in the presence the Russian Consulate General and Russian Ambassador, as well of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
"The arms shipment came the day before yesterday, on the 14th of March, and was intended for the armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan — the Peshmerga. The weapons were transferred in the presence of the Ambassador and the Consul General and deputy chief of staff of the Peshmerga," stated Artem Grigoryan, the attaché to the Russian Consul General.
According to Grigoryan, five ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft units and 20,000 shells were given to the Peshmerga.
The attaché said that the Russian Ambassador in Baghdad, Ilya Morgunov, discussed a new supply of Russian weapons with the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, during a meeting on March 13th.
"After the transfer of the arms shipments on March 14th, the Ambassador said that this is not the last batch of weapons. He said that Russia hopes that with these weapons the Peshmerga and the Iraqi armed forces will beat ISIS,” the diplomat stated.
Grigoryan stressed that the supply weapons to the Peshmerga was coordinated with the authorities in Baghdad.
The move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russian forces from Syria.