A financial squeeze is forcing Iraq to put major weapons deals on hold, but the country will hire 10,000 additional paramilitary forces seen as critical in the fight against Islamic State, its finance minister said on Wednesday.

Baghdad will focus its military spending in 2016 on light and medium weapons such as sniper rifles, as well as anti-mining devices and surveillance equipment as an alternative to heavier weapons like artillery.

“There has been a shift in emphasis by the government to improve the quality of the weapons that are needed for this type of war,” Hoshiyar Zebari in an interview for the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit. […]