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Russian Flights Over Iraq and Iran Escalate Tension With U.S.



        Russian Flights Over Iraq and Iran Escalate Tension With U.S.

ERIC SCHMITT and MICHAEL R. GORDON
NY Times
September 14, 2015

WASHINGTON — Russia is using an air corridor over Iraq and Iran to fly military equipment and personnel to a new air hub in Syria, openly defying American efforts to block the shipments and significantly increasing tensions with Washington.

American officials disclosed Sunday that at least seven giant Russian Condor transport planes had taken off from a base in southern Russia during the past week to ferry equipment to Syria, all passing through Iranian and Iraqi airspace.

Their destination was an airfield south of Latakia, Syria, which could become the most significant new Russian military foothold in the Middle East in decades, American officials said.

The Obama administration initially hoped it had hampered the Russian effort to move military equipment and personnel into Syria when Bulgaria, a NATO member, announced it would close its airspace to the flights. But Russia quickly began channeling its flights over Iraq and Iran, which Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said on Sunday would continue despite American objections.

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This article was posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 at 10:07 am



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