Kerry rushes to Iraq
He will press Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stop over-flights of Iranian aircraft carrying aid to Syrian government Baghdad (AP): US...
He will press Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stop over-flights of Iranian aircraft carrying aid to Syrian government Baghdad (AP): US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on an unannounced visit to urge Iraqi leaders to stop Iranian overflights of arms and fighters heading to Syria and to overcome sectarian differences that still threatened Iraqi stability 10 years after the American-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Kerry flew to Baghdad on Saturday from Amman after accompanying President Barack Obama to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Officials travelling with him said he would press Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other senior officials on democratic reforms and directly urge them to stop over flights of Iranian aircraft carrying military personnel and equipment to support the Syrian government as it battles rebels. The overflights have long been a source of contention between the US and Iraq and Kerry would tell the Iraqis that allowing them to continue would make the situation in Syria worse and threaten Iraq's stability. A senior US official said the sheer number of overflights, which occur close to daily, as well as overland shipments to Syria through Iraq from Iran was inconsistent with Iranian claims that they were only carrying humanitarian supplies. Kerry will tell Nouri al-Maliki that Iraq cannot be part of the political discussion about Syria's future until it clamps down on the shipments.
22 Jan 2020 5:20 AM GMT