BAGHDAD - Iraq said it had started asking Syria-bound Iranian planes to land in Baghdad for inspections on Tuesday, after promising Washington it would carry out random searches to stop arms getting through to Damascus.

Authorities said they had made their first inspection of an Iranian aircraft on Tuesday afternoon and let it fly on to Syria after finding no weapons.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari promised the searches on Sunday in response to US concerns Tehran is shipping arms to its ally Syrian President Bashar Assad to help him fight an 18-month-old revolt.

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