Iranian Commercial Airline Flying Fighters, Weapons from Tehran to Damascus

(Forbes) Emanuele Ottolenghi - Iranian commercial aircraft routinely violate international aviation rules by transporting arms and military personnel to Syria. The Iranian airline Mahan Air remains under U.S. sanctions for its ongoing support for Iran's military involvement in Syria. Mahan Air is the primary airline running illicit flights to Damascus, using the Iranian airport of Abadan as the logistical hub. Tehran's military airlift to Syria began in 2011 and has increased since August 2015 from weekly to daily flights, providing fresh supplies and recruits to three U.S. adversaries: the Syrian Armed Forces, Hizbullah, and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran's state-owned airline, Iran Air, was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in 2011, including for its role in Iran's weapons airlift to Syria. Iran Air was delisted under the JCPOA in January, but Iran Air may still be involved in illicit activities. Its planes have recently flown known weapons resupply routes to Syria. The writer is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2016-08-29 00:00:00

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