thanks for reading my books.
To answer your question, the situation is very simple: my co-authors and me always report the information that is available. We can't fabricate, imagine or construct information and evidence, but only report what we get. Thus, the more information we can get, the better - and more ballanced - we can report.
Now, ten and more years ago, when we started publishing, and then while working on the book "Iran-Iraq War in the Air, 1980-1988"), we attempted contacting official Iraqi sources (for example the embassy in Vienna, Ministry of Defence in Baghdad etc.). In essence, I got no replay at all. Nothing. Now, this is not to say that the Iranians - i.e. their officials - were more helpful. They were not the least. But, back then
it proved far easier to find a number of their pilots and officers that live abroad, establish contacts and to interview them. The Iranians have also published dozens of books and hundreds of articles about their pilots and the Iran-Iraq War over the time. So, it's (relatively) "easy" to get data on the IRIAF. In comparisson, we've got only two ex-IrAF and one ex-IrAAC sources when working on that book (two former MiG-21-pilots and one former Mi-8 pilot, to be more specific). So, if you think that book is "their" (i.e. Iranian) story, then because of the situation with sources.
That said, the nature of this work is such that it never ends. We're permanently on the search for new sources, new documents, new photos. And, ever since that first book came out, in October 2002, we have released a number of new publications. I have presented two most recent publications about the Iraqi Air Force (books "Iraqi Fighters
" and "Arab MiGs Volume 1
"), in the corresponding section of this forum. On the top of that, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that in 2006, Farzad Bishop and me have joined our efforts with Brig Gen Ahmad Sadik (IrAF, ret.). Ever since, we have published the above mentioned book "Iraqi Fighters", plus:
- Two full special volumes of the French magazine "Avions", including their "Hors Serie No.22; The Iran-Iraq War: Air Combat. Part.01
" and "Hors Serie No.23; The Iran-Iraq War: Air Combat. Vol.02
", which are an "update" of the first book from 2002, mainly based on extensive input from Mr. Sadik and a number of new Iraqi sources.
- The Article "Basis H-3: Der Sechstagekrieg
" (about the IrAF in 1967 War with Israel), in the German magazine Fliegerrevue Extra, Volume 17:
- Two-part article on Mirage F.1EQs in service with the IrAF, published in the French magazine Fana de l'Aviation (Nos. 435 and No.436)
- The article "The First Night" (covering the Iraqi Air Force operations in the night of 17 January 1991), in the International Air Power Review (Volume 26, in English), and in the Fliegerrevue Extra Volume 16
(In relation to MiG-25s, this was the first ever time that anybody in the West described the downing of Lt Cdr Michael Speicher's F/A-18C Hornet by a MiG-25PDS from No.96 Squadron from the night of 17 January 1991.)
- The article "Codename Susanna" in the French Magazine Fana de l'Aviation Volume 470/December 2008 - about the Falcon 50 equipped with the avionics- and weapons-system of the Mirage F.1EQ-5, which flew the attack on USS Stark, in May 1987 (bellow is the cover page of that issue)
As said, add to this the two books I mentioned above, and you're going to see that I'm very much curious, interested and spending plenty of time and efforts to research and publish about the Iraqi Air Force. Don't get me wrong, please, I do not want to boast: but, except for Dr. David Nicolle, I do not know any other Western author publishing to the topic of Arab air forces in general - not to talk about the Iraqi Air Force - as much as I did in the last ten years.
The only reason I did not publish more to this topic is the problem in finding sources and recording their recollections...
I do not "think", but know
that the MiG-25 in question was already damaged by an AIM-54A Phoenix missile fired by an IRIAF F-14A. That was the reason the Foxbat in question found itself flying deep inside the Iranian airspace at "only" 11.000m (approx 33.000ft) and less than Mach 1. A pair of F-5Es underway on a CAS sortie were ordered to jettison their bombs and vectored to intercept. Only the lead of these two Tigers, flown by Javadpour, managed to catch with the MiG-25: both of his Sidewinders failed to fire, so he selected cannons and fired two long bursts in front of the MiG, spending all of his ammo in the process. The last string of rounds hit the MiG, knocking out one engine and setting it afire. The pilot made an emergency landing at an airfield in northern Iraq. Brig Gen Sadik saw that plane with his own eyes after the landing, and confirmed that it was subsequently shot down.
BTW, only a few months later, the Iranian F-5E pilot that scored this kill was shot down over Iraq and became a POW. That way the IrAF was able to cross-examine his version of how that MiG-25 was lost.
Also, if that makes you feeling better: the Iranian authorities (the same authorities we all know how they treat former IrAF pilots, don't we?) - have recently also de-confirmed all the MiG-25 kills scored by the IRIAF pilots during that war. They have "re-confirmed" these to crews of various IRGC air defence units instead (including the MiG-25RB flown by the CO No.84 Squadron, shot down over Khark, in 1982 - where there were never any IRGC air defence units!).
Rest assured, you can trust me that when it comes to Iraq, there is hardly any other topic I'm as curious about like MiG-25s. Sadly, I only saw the wreckage of four Foxbats left behind at the abandoned al-Taqaddum AB, in 2006 (I saw flying MiG-25s only in Syria). But that was enough to amaze me about their sheer size and power.
The Iraqi Air Force is the only air force that flew and fought any serious wars with MiG-25s. It had a number of highly experienced MiG-25-pilots with highest numbers of hours flown on the type, flying most risky operations with the "Dinghy" (as the MiG-25RB was nick-named), and with most kills scored with the "Threesonic" (or what was the IrAF nick for MiG-25PDS?). You can trust me there would have been five books on this topic alone - if I could only scratch the few "pieces of puzzle" that are still missing and then also get enough photos...
Best wishes from (snowy) Vienna,