Iran Supplying Syrian Regime via Iraq Airspace

Flights continue despite US objections
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2012 6:07 AM CDT
Iran Supplying Syrian Regime Via Iraq Airspace
Syrian troops participate in a live fire exercise in an undisclosed location in Syria.    (AP Photo/SANA)

(Newser) – The Iraqi government is doing nothing to stop Iran from using its airspace for flights to supply the Syrian regime, reports the New York Times. Flights paused for a while earlier this year after the US pressured Iraq, but they resumed in July and have continued since, despite objections from Washington. Iran is the Syrian regime's closest ally and its use of Iraqi airspace allowed it to keep supplying Syria with military equipment and advisers even after rebels seized border crossings where Iranian aid arrived via truck. Iran earlier said it was supplying the Assad regime with hundreds of soldiers.

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"The Iranians have no problems in the air, and the Syrian regime still controls the airport," says a Lebanese military analyst. American officials believe Iran has supplied the regime with trainers for paramilitary forces, communications equipment, and even a cargo plane to ferry troops around the country. “Plan A is to keep Bashar al-Assad in power,” says an Iranian pro-democracy activist. “But Plan B is that if they can’t keep him in power anymore they will try to make another Iraq or another Afghanistan—civil war—then you can create another Hezbollah.” (Read more Syria stories.)

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