Iraq Seizes US-Led Coalition Planes with Arms Cargoes
The Iraqi security forces have seized 2 German planes at Baghdad Airport that were carrying weapons to the Kurdistan region illegally and without prior information and permission of the central government in Baghdad.
The captured planes were carrying arms worth $5 million to the city of Erbil in Kurdistan region without prior coordination or information of Baghdad, the Kurdish-language Kurd Press news agency reported on Saturday.
Earlier this month, the Iraqi defense ministry announced in a statement that two Canadian and Swedish planes which had also been carrying arms to the Kurdistan region illegally were seized and later returned to their bases in Kuwait and Turkey after unloading their cargoes in Baghdad.
According to the statement, “Upon the order of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces and after several days of confiscation, the two planes were allowed to leave Baghdad international airport with all their cargos to their bases in Kuwait and Turkey”.
Also in November, the Iraqi government had announced that it had seized two planes of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition member states that were carrying weapons to the Kurdistan Region without prior coordination or information of Baghdad.
“The inspection committee in Baghdad International Airport has found a huge number of rifles equipped with silencers, as well as light and mid-sized weapons,” Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Commission Hakem al-Zameli said.
He noted that two Swedish and Canadian airplanes were going to fly to Iraq’s Kurdistan region, but they were seized after arms cargos were discovered.
Zameli called on the Iraqi foreign ministry to question the international coalition in this regard and warn the coalition members to avoid such moves in the future.
“The US ambassador to Baghdad has tried to send the weapons to the Iraqi Kurdistan region, and the government should investigate this and arrest the perpetrators,” he added.
The US and some other coalition members have been supplying arms to different actors in Iraq.