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Iraqi PM welcomes Syria air strike on border crossing

June 26, 2014 5:00 pm

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of Iraq has told the BBC he supports an air strike on Islamist militants at a border crossing between Iraq and Syria.

Military and rebel sources say the strike took place inside Iraq, at the Qaim crossing, although Mr Maliki said it was carried out on the Syrian side.

Mr Maliki also said the militants’ advance could have been avoided if US jets had been delivered more quickly.

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Isis and its Sunni Muslim allies seized large parts of Iraq this month.

Iraq has been receiving support from Iran, with whom its Shia Muslim leaders have close links.

Speaking to the BBC’s Arabic service in his first interview for an international broadcaster since the crisis started, Mr Maliki said that Iraq had bought 36 American jet fighters, but that the process had been “slow and very long-winded”.

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