Iraq says it will search more Syria-bound flights

Posted: 03/29/13 at 3:00 pm EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Iraqi government says it will stop more aircraft traveling through Iraqi airspace and vehicles traveling overland en route to Syria to search for weapons on them.

Government spokesman Ali al-Moussawi said Friday that Iraq would conduct such searches on planes and vehicles believed to be carrying weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces -- or to rebels seeking to topple his regime.

The move comes after U.S Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Baghdad earlier this month to stop Iranian planes that Washington believes are flying through Iraqi airspace to ferry weapons and fighters to help the prop up the Syrian regime.

Iraq has promised in the past to prevent weapons transfers to Syria, but U.S. officials complain not enough is being done on the ground.

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