Iraq PM: Syria Civil War Could Spread Across Region

Officials Warn Arming Syrian Rebels a Threat to Iraq

by Jason Ditz, February 27, 2013

In an interview with the Associated Press, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has expressed concern about continued international support for regime change in neighboring Syria, warning the Syrian Civil War could easily spread abroad.

Maliki urged international backing for a negotiated settlement, cautioning that a military victory for the rebels would lead to a civil war in Lebanon and increasing destabilization in Jordan and Iraq.

Maliki’s concerns are already panning out in some cases, with violence on the rise in Iraq in recent months, and the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) attacking Lebanon over the past week, vowing to oust the Shi’ite Hezbollah faction from the nation.

Former Badr Brigade head Hadi al-Amiri, the Iraqi Transport Minister, echoed Maliki’s comments, adding that he believes Turkish and Qatari support for the Syrian rebels is “tantamount to a declaration of war” against Iraq, because the weapons they are giving to al-Qaeda linked factions in Syria will inevitably end up in Iraq, being used by the same groups there.

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