Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise trip to Iraq on Sunday to urge Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to at the very least do something about the continued Iranian flights to Syria that go right through Iraq's airspace. Right now they're not doing very much.
Kerry lobbied al-Maliki with the argument that Iraq could play a larger role in discussions about the Syria's future in a post-Assad era, if Iraq decides to play ball now. Kerry's main concern is that Iran is shipping weapons into Syria, "including rockets, antitank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, as well as Iranian personnel," intelligence officials told The New York Times. Iran insists it's only shipping in humanitarian aid and not weapons, but they're also one of Assad's biggest (and one of few remaining) allies.
The flights are going right through Iraq and the country is doing almost nothing about it. "[Kerry] will be very direct with Prime Minister Maliki about the importance of stopping the Iranian overflights and the transits across the territory or, at a minimum, inspecting each of the flights," an official travelling with Kerry told Reuters before the meeting. It's the first time the serving Secretary of State has visited Iraq since Hillary Clinton made the trip in 2009. Kerry said his meeting with al-Maliki was a "very spirited discussion" afterwards.