Iraq searches Syrian passenger plane
Iran Press TV
Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:29AM GMT
Iraqi authorities have ordered a Damascus-bound passenger plane operated by Syria’s national flag carrier, Syrian Air, to land for inspection.
Nasser Bandar, the head of Iraq’s civil aviation authority, said inspectors checked the plane traveling from the Russian capital, Moscow, on Sunday.
It is the first time that Iraq reports inspecting a Syrian plane.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says certain Western states and their regional allies such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have been trying to fuel the chaos in the country.
Recently, Iraq has also inspected Iranian cargo planes at the request of US officials, who claim that Tehran uses the Iraqi airspace to send weapons to the Syrian government. The Iranian planes, however, carry only humanitarian goods.
On April 10, Iraqi aviation officials grounded and inspected an Iranian Mahan Air cargo plane heading to Syria, finding humanitarian goods on the aircraft. Nasser Bandar said after the inspection that authorities “did not find any prohibited items.”
It was a third inspection in three days and the Islamic Republic has officially protested to Baghdad.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on April 9 that the inspections were “unacceptable” and as part of an “Iranophobia project” sponsored by the United States, the Israeli regime and certain regional countries.
Mehmanparast said Iran will continue its relief operations in Syria despite the inspections.
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