Thursday, September 20, 2012

Iraq: Iran Not Using Its Airspace to Ship Arms to Syria

Iraq today denied a Western intelligence report that Iran was using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and weapons across Iraq to Syria.

“The official spokesman of Iraqi government had denied that issue altogether… There is nothing like this happening,” said Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamal, Iraq’s Deputy Interior Minister for Intelligence.  (Reuters, 20 September)

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that according to a Western intelligence report, “Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid Syrian President Bashar-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government.”

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday listed 117 Iran aircraft belonging to the country’s Iran Air, Mahan Airlines and Yas Air, for delivering weapons and transporting military personnel to Syria. The move was seen as pressuring the Iraqi government to stop the overflights of these aircraft to Syria.

Photo Credit: Iran Air Cargo Boeing 747-21AC/SCD, EP-ICD (cn 24134/712) photographed at Dubai 4/13/12, identified in the report. (

1 comment:

Mark Pyruz said...

This isn't the first time Iraq has denied these American charges, which are now more publicly detailed. In the past, such tactics have worked on Turkey in pressuring them away from passively assisting Iran. But the Iraqis appear to take a tougher line, at least for now.

Obviously my intel access is limited to the open source, but it's also possible that shuttling of military personnel could involve Iranian training of Alawite paramilitary reinforcement forces .