Iraqi PM calls on West to stop arming Syria's rebels
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called on the United States and its allies to stop providing weapons to the rebels in Syria.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi prime minister said providing the foreign-backed militant groups in Syria with arms could further ignite violence in its neighbor, Iraq.
“I am appealing to the countries that talked about supporting armed groups in Syria with weapons. I tell them, you are supporting terrorism in Iraq,” Maliki stated in his weekly televised speech.
He added that other countries in the world must help Iraq in its fight against terrorism.
“The international community must take the responsibility of supporting us and helping all those who stand against terrorism. Allowing weapons to reach terrorist organizations and extremists in Syria means supporting terrorism in Iraq.”
The Iraqi premier also commented on recent seizure of weapons meant to be transferred into Iraq.
“The weapons started to flow to Iraq from Syria. Five days ago the security forces struck a 15-vehicle convoy loaded with weapons coming from Syria to Iraq.”
In a recent interview, Maliki slammed Saudi Arabia for supporting terrorist groups in his country. “The current terrorism originates from Saudi Arabia,” Maliki said.
The Iraqi premier also blamed Riyadh for sponsoring terrorism in Syria.
The Wednesday remarks came after it was revealed that the United States more than doubled its supply of weaponry and munitions to militants linked to the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Command in January. The military command is aligned with the Western-backed opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC).
The United States has also delivered over 600 tons of military aid to militants since the talks on Syria known as Geneva II kicked off in Switzerland on January 22.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Feisal al-Meqdad has slammed Washington for supporting “terrorist groups.”
Damascus says the United States is “undermining” the Geneva II talks.