World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq will ask Syria-bound Iranian planes passing through its airspace to land for random inspections after Washington said they could be ferrying arms to Damascus, the Iraqi foreign minister said in an interview.
U.S. officials had raised their concerns over the past few days on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, Hoshiyar Zebari told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper.
"We have informed Mrs Clinton (U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and U.S. officials that the government plans to bring planes down and conduct random inspections," Zebari said in the interview published on Sunday. He confirmed he was referring to Iranian planes.
Washington had already said it was asking Iraq about Iranian flights suspected of carrying arms to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iraq has said it would never allow any arms to pass through its airspace to either side in the conflict.
The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim, is close to regional Shi'ite power Iran.
Maliki has opposed demands by Sunni Muslim Arab Gulf nations that Assad step down to end the escalating crisis.
Zebari said the U.S. officials had said any flights carrying weapons to Syrian would break U.N. Security Council resolutions, and demanded Iraq stop them.
Washington had provided no specific intelligence of such flights, he added.
Iranian flights over Iraq had begun in March and stopped after Iraq asked that they be halted, the minister told the newspaper.
"They resumed again towards the end of July and they said these flights contain no weapons or hardware, and that they transport pilgrims, visitors and so on. But to verify their shipments, we will ask these planes to land," he said.
Zebari said Iraq opposed any foreign intervention in Syria and favoured a negotiated solution that would ensure a peaceful transition in Syria, starting with an immediate ceasefire.
He added Iraq had proposed holding another meeting of world powers on Syria as a follow up to the talks held in Geneva in June.
"What we have proposed to (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov is perhaps there is a need to convene a 'Geneva 2' to activate mechanisms for implementing what has been agreed upon and not to reopen the discussions," he said.
The Geneva meeting agreed a transitional government should be set up in Syria, but the major powers were at odds over what part Assad might play in the process.
Up to 600 CEOs and investors were due to visit the Scottish city of Glascow as part of a delegation sent by Fortune 500 Company vice president Richard Cassini.
Assam and the tiny state of Nagaland in northeastern India have been claiming tracts of land along the state limits since the creation of Nagaland more than four decades ago.
The party's Central Executive Board will select Erdogan's replacement before party members vote for the nominee chairman in an extraordinary congress on August 27.
Indonesian police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters outside the country's top court
A statement on the UAE's foreign ministry website told citizens to avoid areas "where pickpocketing, fraud and theft are frequent and where it is not advised to live".
The men were part of a group of 50 on trial at the same time, of whom 30 have already been sentenced to jail and one to death.
Draft law on the autonomous Muslim region was submitted to Aquino after months of negotiations between the government and MILF rebels.
Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip since Tuesday following the collapse of a temporary ceasefire with Palestinian factions.
U.S. forces attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged gunfire with ISIL militants only to discover the captives were not there, officials said
The convoy has been stuck at the Russia-Ukraine border for a week because Ukraine is worried that it could be used to deliver military supplies to pro-Russian separatists
Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan has had a rapid rise to political prominence and is now leading demands for the resignation of Pakistan's prime minister.
Several families packed up to escape the fighting, which lasted for hours, residents said.
Restricted Data includes classified material about the design, manufacture or use of atomic weapons, the production of special nuclear material, or the use of that material in energy production.
Chief of the Defense Staff General Rudy Ortiz and the four others had gone to inspect military installations when the Bell 206 helicopter came down in thick cloud
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Qin's statement came after a prominent Chinese newspaper, the state-run Global Times tabloid, said Australia should be taught a lesson.
A rise in the number of foreign assisted suicides has provoked heated debate in Switzerland