Sun. 6:55pm: Kerry tells Iraq it shouldn’t allow Iranian overfights to Syria
BAGHDAD (AP) – Just days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Baghdad for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq’s behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner.
Speaking to reporters during a previously unannounced trip to Baghdad, Kerry said that he and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had engaged in “a very spirited discussion” on the Iranian flights, which U.S. officials believe are ferrying weapons and fighters intended for the embattled Syrian government.
Kerry said the plane shipments – along with material being trucked across Iraqi territory from Iran to Syria – were helping President Bashar Assad’s regime cling to power by increasing their ability to strike at Syrian rebels and opposition figures demanding Assad’s ouster.