Iran Supplying Assad through Ground Convoys across Iraq

(Foreign Policy) Josh Rogin - For several months, the U.S. government has been urging the Iraqi government to stop Iran from supplying arms to the Syrian regime through commercial flights over Iraqi airspace, but a larger amount of supplies is now crossing Iraq via convoys on the ground, said Iraq's exiled Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. He said a growing and active ground transport route from Iran to Syria crosses through the Zarbatia checkpoint on the Iran-Iraq border, west of the Iranian town of Mehran, flows through the city of Karbala, and crosses over to Syria via the al-Qaim border crossing. "Munitions, heavy arms, and even militias are passing checkpoints without any sort of obstruction," Hashimi said. "A huge number of buses and trucks are passing the checkpoints all the way from the Iranian border to the Syrian border, passing through al-Anbar [province] without stopping at the checkpoints." "The American administration should be aware that because of unique ties with Iran, the Maliki government will never be able to resist any sort of demand coming from Tehran....This is just a matter of fact," he said. "We should expect many, many, many attempts to bypass and circumvent sanctions against Iran and Syria by Iraq."

2012-10-25 00:00:00

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