(Newsroom America) -- A Western intelligence report says Iran is moving personnel and shipping a large quantity of weapons into Syria using civilian aircraft that travel through Iraqi airspace, Reuters reported Thursday, citing unnamed U.N. sources.
According to the report U.S. officials questioned Iraq about the flights and shipments to Syrian President Bashar Assad, a staunch Iranian ally, earlier this month. Also, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, threatened to review aid to Baghdad if it refuses to halt the flights.
Iraqi officials have said the country does not permit its airspace to be used to ferry troops and supplies. But, Reuters reported, according to the intelligence report, Iranian weapons and supplies in vast quantities have been flowing through Iraq to neighboring Syria in flights organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
"This is part of a revised Iranian modus operandi that U.S. officials have only recently addressed publicly, following previous statements to the contrary," said the report.
"It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials," the report continued, according to Reuters. "Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tons of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels."
The Western intel report also said Iran was sending shipments overland as well.
Iraq on Thursday denied the report, saying its airspace was not being used by Iran or anyone else to ferry military supplies to its embattled neighbor.
"Iraq has confirmed that it will never be involved or helping or allowing any shipment via its air space or land to Syria," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.
He added that Iraq was "ready to be part of regional and international efforts or measures to stop the shipping of equipment or personnel to both sides in Syria."
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