Last updated: 17 February, 2012

Iraq accuses some Arab states of helping fund terror

Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi accused some Arab states he did not identify Friday of helping to fund terrorism, and expressed concern about security at the Syrian border.

“Businessmen from some countries in the region, with the help of their governments, are providing significant funds to terrorist groups in Iraq,” Assadi said in an interview with state television.

“The leaders of these countries say they know nothing about it but the facts prove otherwise.”

There are nearly 300 prisoners from other Arab countries in Iraqi jails, the majority of them Saudis, according to the justice ministry.

Assadi said the worsening security situation in neighbouring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been battling to crush an uprising for 11 months, was a cause for concern.

“What worries us is the deteriorating situation on the Syrian side, because the army is occupied with other problems,” he said.

“There is smuggling and even clashes between the smugglers and the Syrian forces.

“The Syrian army is still at the border but in reduced numbers. It’s chaos and public institutions are being pillaged from near the frontier. We have even seen some soldiers leaving their positions on the border.”