12072016Wed

Iraq says it can't search all Syria-bound planes

AP: Iraq's prime minister says his country is unable to search all Syria-bound Iranian planes that fly through Iraqi airspace. But Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that Iraq is committed to preventing weapons from being shipped through the country to Syria. The Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister says his country is unable to search all Syria-bound Iranian planes that fly through Iraqi airspace.

But Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that Iraq is committed to preventing weapons from being shipped through the country to Syria.

U.S. officials have accused Baghdad of allowing Damascus' close ally Iran to transport arms to Syrian government forces via Iraqi airspace.

Baghdad denies the allegations. Since October, the Iraqi government has forced two Iranian planes to land and be searched, but authorities say nothing illegal was found on either aircraft.

The Syrian crisis began in March 2011 with pro-democracy protests and morphed into a civil war that has killed, according to anti-government activists, more than 40,000 people.

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