U.S. troops in Iraq

WikiLeaks: Irish Government blocked arms shipments to Israel and Iraq


U.S. troops in Iraq

The Irish Government acted to prevent weapons being transported from the US to Israel via Shannon Airport after the 2006 bombing of Lebanon, WikiLeaks documents have revealed this week.

In a cable from the US embassy in Ireland the Irish government's actions were described as a cause for concern as the US attempted to bolster Israel's military might.

The leaked cable between the US embassy and Washington read: "Although supportive of continued US military transits at Shannon Airport, the Irish Government has informally begun to place constraints on US operations at the facility, mainly in response to public sensitivities over US actions in the Middle East."

James Kenny, the then US ambassador to Ireland, wrote that the Irish government was making it deliberately difficult for munitions to get to Israel via Ireland.

Kenny added that the Irish government had been angered when Apache helicopters were passed through Ireland to Israel without the required prior notification and exemption waivers.

The cable added that ambassador Kenny believed segments of the Irish public saw the airport as a symbol of "Irish complicity in perceived US wrongdoing in the Middle East."

In response to the Irish governments strong stance Kenny replied that the US military would stop using Shannon Airport with the loss of millions of Euro to the Irish economy in favor of another European Airport, if the government's policy was not reversed.


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