U.S. foreign secretary pushes Iraq to cooperate over Syria
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to pressurize Iraq into cooperating over Syria in a bid to stop Iran using their airspace to send weapons to Assad's regime, the BBC reported on Sunday.
During an unannounced visit to the troubled country, Kerry told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki that his current policies were "problematic".
"I made very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from Iran are in fact helping to sustain President Assad and his regime," Kerry told reporters.
The Syrian regime is largely supported by arms shipments from both Iran and Russia. Although Iraq had promised to inspect any Iranian planes using their airspace, they have only checked two since last year, according to one U.S. official speaking to AP.
The same official said there were planes flying from Iran to Syria almost every day.
Kerry's visit to Iraq marks the first trip to the Shia-led country by a U.S. secretary of state in four years.
- Iraq says it will tighten controls on Iranian flights to Syria using its airspace
- Kerry in Iraq to press for co-operation on Syria
- Kerry issues Russia with warning over arming Syrian regime
- Iran FM condemns the use of WMDs in remarks on Syria
- Syrian opposition warns Iraq over arms shipment to Assad forces