Iraqi PM Maliki fears spillover of the Syrian crisis

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki expressed fear of a possible spillover of the Syrian civil war into Iraq, adding, saying Iraq will be harmed if Islamists fundamentalists come to power in a post-Assad era.

“I am m afraid for the unity of Iraq from the escalating conditions in the region and I fear that there are serious projects to divide what has already been already divided by Sykes–Picot Agreement,” Maliki told Al Arabiya in a special interview broadcast on Monday.

He said weapons are being smuggled from Syria into Iraq and warned the conditions will worsen if a “new terrorist extremist regime ruled Syria.”

Maliki said the deployment of Iraqi forces on the border with Syria is not linked to the battles raging there between rebels and Assad’s forces.

Iraq has been accused of supporting the Syrian regime and of sending troops to help Assad’s army recapture the town of Qusayr.

Maliki denied those accusations and said Iraqi troops were deployed on the border with Syria long before the battle of Qusayr broke out. He said the deployment was meant to prevent the infiltration of members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

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