Saturday, March 30, 2013

Iraq to Increase Searches of Iran Overflights to Syria

Iraq said today it will step up searches of Iranian flights via its airspace to Syria.

“Because of a lot of information which referred to transportation of weapons, we have increased the activity of inspections,” said Ali Mussawi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. “We will carry out more random searches, to be assured that there is no weapons transfer.” (AFP, 30 March).

However, the head of Iraq's civil aviation authority told AFP that no planes had been searched since October. Last week, in a meeting with Maliki, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Baghdad for turning a blind eye to the Iranian overflights.
Kerry had told reporters while in Baghdad that he “made very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from Iran are in fact helping to sustain President Assad and his regime.” (AFP)
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syria Army, Alaa Al-Basha, said that a number of IRGC personnel were injured on Thursday when an Iranian plane was shot down by FSA and caught fire after landing at a runway at Damascus airport. (Al-Arabiya, 29 March)

The state-run media in Syria has denied the incidence. Iran has not confirmed nor denied the report.

File photo:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad. 24 March, 2013. (Jason Reed/Reuters/The Daily Star)


Mark Pyruz said...

Not only has Iran "not confirmed nor denied the report", the AlAribiya/FSyA claim has yet to be independently verified. So far, no major news service has covered the claim.

Iraq says a lot of things to placate the United States but hardly ever comes through. The major force battling in Syria is an AlQaida linked militia with roots and links in Iraq. Can we realistically expect the Iraqi Shia leadership to follow through on policies -- like inspecting Iranian planes for weapons and fighters -- that are so obviously not in their interest to do so? That's about the easiest answer to come up with. In fact, it's so easy, Kerry's Iraqi hosts must have been thoroughly insulted.

Anonymous said...

Yeah sure. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, Iraq will surely examine Iranian planes. LOL.

reader said...

Not if US insists on their mustached man joining the inspection team!