BAGHDAD - Iraq has stopped and searched an Iranian flight bound for Syria to check for weapons being shipped to President Bashar Assad, but found only humanitarian aid, authorities said on Sunday.
The search was the second carried out by Baghdad since Washington warned Iraq not to allow Iran to ship weapons through its airspace to help Assad in his battle against a 19-month-long revolt.
"Yesterday morning we stopped an Airbus plane from Iran heading to Syria... but we found humanitarian aid, like tents and first aid gear," Samer Kuba, the deputy head of Iraq's Civil Aviation Authority, told Reuters. Kuba said the Iran Air flight was allowed to continue on to Syria later on Saturday.
A Western intelligence report in September showed that Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons almost daily through Iraqi airspace to aid Assad.
Iraq rejected charges it allows Tehran to ferry military equipment or fighters through Iraq. In September, Baghdad said it would subject Syrian-bound Iranian flights to random checks and refused a North Korean plane permission to fly to Syria across Iraq on suspicion it carried arms.