News / Middle East

Report: Iraq Is Major Weapons Route to Syria

A Syrian Air Force fighter plane fires a rocket during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012. A Syrian Air Force fighter plane fires a rocket during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
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A Syrian Air Force fighter plane fires a rocket during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
A Syrian Air Force fighter plane fires a rocket during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
VOA News
A report in a prominent U.S. newspaper says the air corridor over Iraq has become a main supply route for weapons for the beleaguered government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The New York Times, in a story posted on its website late Saturday, said the American effort to stem the flow of Iranian arms to Syria has faltered because of Iraq's reluctance to inspect aircraft carrying the weapons through its airspace. The newspaper says the weapons include rockets, antitank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

The report, which cites anonymous U.S. officials, says the Obama administration is disappointed that American efforts to persuade the Iraqis to randomly inspect the flights have been "largely unsuccessful."

The New York Times says adding to American frustrations are U.S. intelligence reports indicating Iraqi officials have "tipped off" Iran about the timing of inspections, helping Tehran to avoid detection.

A U.S. official told the newspaper Iraq should be "diligent and consistent" in fulfilling its international obligations by requiring flights over Iraqi territory en route to Syria from Iran to land for inspection, or by denying overflight requests for Iranian aircraft going to Syria.

According to the newspaper account, Iraqi officials continue to insist they oppose the ferrying of arms through Iraq's airspace.  The story says Iraqi officials claim Iran is "merely delivering humanitarian aid."  The newspaper reports Iraqi officials say the American charges are "unfounded."

The New York Times cites an anonymous Iraqi official who said some officials in Baghdad had done the "bare minimum" to placate the U.S. because they are "in fact sympathetic to the Iranian efforts in Syria."

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: angelina from: las vegas
December 02, 2012 6:39 PM
Rebels in Syria are funded by mossad to retaliate against government extremely un fair to destabilise other countries create wars.


by: pgwveteran from: fort mill,sc
December 02, 2012 12:44 PM
These idiots do not deserve any more aid from the US. EVERYTHING should be cut off to them. They are more of a pain to us now than ever before, including Saddam. It is sad that we ever went into that country and eliminated Hussein whom they deserve. We could have had Saddam doing all the dirty work against iran with the current nuclear issue. So sad.


by: Anonymous
December 02, 2012 10:03 AM
What a surprise! After the USA helped free Iraq, this is the gratitude? LOL And yet, the US believes it is making "friends" in Syria by helping "them" overthrow a "dictator" (used when the dictator is not installed by the US). And who will replace the government? By all reports it looks more and more like a radical Islamic nexus of fighters will consolidate power regardless of who the US "prefers".


by: Squeeze
December 02, 2012 9:49 AM
No Fly Zone is the name of the real solution here, coupled with combat air patrols.

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