WASHINGTON - The US State Department said on Thursday it did not support a suggestion from a prominent senator that future US assistance to Iraq be made conditional on Baghdad's cooperation in stopping Iranian aircraft suspected of ferrying weapons to Syria.

"We've been very clear about our ongoing conversation with the government of Iraq, and our view that they either need to deny overflight requests for Iranian aircraft going to Syria or to require that such flights land in Iraqi territory for inspection," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing.

"We do not support linking US assistance to Iraq to the issue of Iranian overflights precisely because our assistance is in part directed towards robust security assistance including helping the Iraqis build their capability to defend their airspace."

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