News

US Wants Iraq to Block Iran Weapons Sales to Syria

The United States wants Iraq to stop Iran from using Iraqi airspace to ship weapons to Syria.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is one of the last major suppliers of military intelligence and weapons to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. officials say Iran's support for the Syrian government, along with help from Russia, is one of the biggest reasons that President Assad has survived a year-long uprising.  Most of those Iranian weapons are flown to Syria through Iraq, which also supports Assad.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Baghdad should prevent the shipments.

"We are making the point that any export of arms or related materials from Iran, frankly, to any destination would be a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747, and that any arms sent to the Syrian regime at this time would obviously be used in the brutal repression that the regime is exacting on its own people," said Nuland.

Foreign policy analyst Malou Innocent says Iran enhances its regional power by supporting President Assad.

"Assad's government has been seen as a sort of an arm of the Iranian government in terms of assisting proxy forces in Lebanon through Hezbollah and also with Hamas," said Innocent.

In Lebanon, supporters of Sunni cleric Ahmad al-Assir oppose Iran's involvement in Syria because they say it undermines Lebanese security.

''When we started our movement, many people told us, 'We agree there is injustice in Syria, but we are afraid,'" al-Assir noted.  "When I asked them why, they say they are afraid of the allies of Syria, like Hezbollah."

Iran says clerics such as al-Assir and Saudi calls to arm Syria's opposition show the need for Tehran's Shia leaders to back President Assad against a Sunni-led power grab.

"There has certainly been a sharpening division between Shia and Sunni blocks within the region.  We have seen that now play out not only in Libya and in Syria and Iran, but also in Bahrain and in Yemen," added Innocent.

Iraqi officials say they have no interest in helping Iran prolong Syria's uprising as Syrian refugees from the conflict come to Iraqi Kurdistan.  U.S. officials say senior members of the government in Baghdad have expressed a commitment to ensure that Iraqi territory and airspace are not used as a transit point for Iranian weapons to Syria.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs