Iraq denies airspace used by Iran to ship arms to Syria

By Reuters

(Reuters) – Iraq on Thursday denied a Western intelligence report which said Iranian aircraft had flown weapons and military personnel over Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad.

The allegation, reported by Reuters on Wednesday, said arms transfers were organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Although charges that Iraq has allowed Iran to transfer arms to Syria are not new, the report says the extent of such shipments is far greater and more systematic than has been publicly acknowledged, thanks to an agreement between senior Iraqi and Iranian officials.

“The official spokesman of the Iraqi government has denied that issue altogether. There is nothing like this happening,” Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamal, Iraq’s deputy interior minister for intelligence, told Reuters.

The report also said Iran was sending trucks overland via Iraq to Syria.

U.S. officials said earlier this month they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights to Syria.


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