Daily Memo: Russo-Indian Defense Deals, Iraq Cracks Down on Iranian Influence

New Delhi is accelerating defense contracts with Moscow in light of threats on its borders.

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Russia and India pick up the pace. The Russian government will accelerate implementation of a defense contract with India that includes delivery of five S-400 air defense systems, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant. New Delhi was originally set to receive the first S-400 in 2021, but after a three-day visit to Moscow by India’s defense minister, India now expects initial delivery by the end of this year. Russia and India are also intensifying negotiations over a contract for the supply of 21 MiG-29 fighters and 12 Su-30MKI fighters – an arrangement estimated to be worth $650 million. New Delhi is concerned with preserving the long-term balance of power on two borders simultaneously – with China and with Pakistan, both of which are accelerating the modernization of their air forces – and thus wants to pick up the pace of the Russian defense deals. Iraq gets tough on Iranian influence. Iraqi security forces carried out an overnight raid in southern Baghdad of the headquarters of an influential Iranian-backed militia, Kataib Hezbollah. They confiscated rocket launchers and detained over a dozen fighters for their alleged involvement in missile attacks on U.S. and coalition bases over the past year. Though the Iraqi government said […]

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