Inside the Ring: Russian military flights over Iraq questioned

The Washington Times

Iraq’s government has told the United States that it will not permit Russian military forces to conduct air and missile strikes inside the country. But Baghdad is allowing Russian military aircraft to overfly its territory to resupply its forces, despite a request from the United States to deny the flights.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, disclosed during a Senate ArmedServices Committee hearing Tuesday that the U.S. government asked the governments of Bulgaria and Iraq to close their airspace to Russian aircraft several weeks before Moscow’s Syria military intervention.

Mr. Cotton suggested that Bulgaria agreed to deny the overflights but that Baghdad rejected the U.S. request. Both Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Marine Corps. Gen. Joseph Dunford didn’t dispute that the diplomatic requests to deny Russian military supply flights were made, but he declined to detail the specifics.

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