Iraq Receives Warships
BRIG. GEN. OMAR AL-TAMIMI, IRAQI NAVY
On May 17, 2017, Iraqi Brig. Gen. Omar Jassim Mohammed al-Tamimi lifted the rope tethering the Iraqi warship Musa bin Nusair, one of two vessels unmoored from their anchorage in the Italian port of La Spezia in preparation for their journey to Iraq.
Previous Iraqi governments ordered vessels from Italian shipyards decades ago, but turmoil in Iraq prevented their delivery. “Because of the sanctions imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War, Iraq was not able to receive all 12 ships it purchased,” said acting Iraqi Minister of Finance Safa al-Din al-Safi.
The ceremony releasing the ships to Iraq was attended by the Iraqi Ambassador to Italy Ahmed Bamerni; the Iraqi military attaché in Italy, Col. Mohammed Ahmed Shafiq; and the representative of the commander of the Iraqi Navy, Brig. Gen. Engineer Omar Jassim Mohammed.
Both ships have highly durable frames and engines and will play an important role in protecting regional waters and Iraqi oil-loading platforms and ports. In addition, Italy will supply the ships with a sophisticated missile system.
Just days earlier, the Iraqi government announced the signing of an agreement with Italy to deliver 12 warships to Iraq years after their purchase.