Iraq’s prime minister condemns arming Syrian rebels


Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki has criticized countries that are arming Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“I call on them [foreign countries] not to support the opposition in Syria by qualitative weapons, some of which began to flow to Iraq,” al-Maleki said in a news conference on Saturday.

The prime minister added that Iraq is committed to “the application of the Iraqi constitution which prohibits passing arms across the Iraqi territories”.

The Iraqi premier also rejected calls by anti-Syria states that Baghdad must inspect Syria-bound Iranian planes, saying Iraq is not capable of searching all cargo planes.

Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have lost their lives in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

On Tuesday, Syrian Al Watan daily published the names of 142 foreign militants from 18 countries who were killed while fighting against Syria’s government. Almost 50 of those named were Saudi nationals.

According to the daily, the militants entered Syria via Turkey and Lebanon and were mostly extremists belonging to al-Qaeda or had joined the terrorist group after arriving in the country.

Iraqi authorities previously forced several Syria-bound Iranian cargo planes to land in Baghdad airport for security search at the illegal request of the US, and later allowed them to continue their journey after no prohibited items were found on board.



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