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Iraqi PM says arming Syrian rebels means supporting terrorism in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said Wednesday that providing rebels in Syria with arms would only mean sending weapons to terrorists in Iraq.

"The international community must take the responsibility of supporting us and helping all those who stand against terrorism. Allowing weapons to reach terrorist organizations and extremists in Syria means supporting terrorism in Iraq," Maliki said in his weekly televised speech.

"The weapons started to flow to Iraq from Syria. Five days ago the security forces struck a 15-vehicle convoy loaded with weapons coming from Syria to Iraq," Maliki said.

"I am appealing to the countries that talked about supporting armed groups in Syria with weapons. I tell them, you are supporting terrorism in Iraq," he added.

Maliki's comments came as Iraqi security forces and their allied militiamen are still battling anti-government Sunni tribes and gunmen allegedly linked to al-Qaida in and near Anbar's capital Ramadi and the city of Fallujah. Their conflicts killed 16 people on Wednesday.

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