Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraqi PM Orders Forces to Tighten Security on Border with Syria

Iraqi PM Orders Forces to Tighten Security on Border with Syria

Friday, 11 June, 2021 - 09:00
Iraqi forces near al-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq. (AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the military to tighten the security on borders with Syria to prevent the infiltration of terrorist groups into Iraq.

Since 2003, the Syrian border has often been used by extremists and terrorist groups to infiltrate Iraqi territory.

Iraqi authorities accused Damascus of supporting and facilitating the entry of these groups during the period between 2005 and 2007, but later became one of the supporters of the Syrian regime.

The spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General, Yahya Rasoul, tweeted that Kadhimi called for equipping the border strip with thermal cameras and energy devices and strengthen military units.

Rasoul indicated that Iraq is “intensifying intelligence efforts and strengthening coordination between all the security and intelligence agencies.”

Iraqi authorities announced the defeat of ISIS at the end of 2017; however, the terrorist organization still represents a serious security challenge.

ISIS “sleeper cells” are still able to carry out some attacks against the Iraqi army, security forces, and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). They operate in a wide area extending from Diyala to Kirkuk, Nineveh, Saladin, and Anbar governorates.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Juma Inad arrived at Niveneh Operations Command headquarters to review the security situation in the province and meet security units, according to a brief statement issued by the ministry.

On June 10, 2014, ISIS took over the governorate’s security headquarters, and the majority of the top security leaders withdrew from Mosul. This was followed by the withdrawal of lower-ranking officers.

The Federal Police tried to resist, but they also withdrew after ISIS terrorists announced their victory over loudspeakers. The terrorist organization took full control of the city for almost three years.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry and Minerals, Manhal Aziz al-Khabbaz, reopened the headquarters of the Northern Cement State Company in Mosul.

During a press conference, Khabbaz said Mosul will witness the launch of several initiatives and projects, announcing that several Saudi, Jordanian and Kuwaiti companies are seeking to rebuild the pharmaceutical factory in the city.

Nineveh will be able to compete industrially and export products during the next few years said the minister.

However, journalist Ahmed al-Hayali believes that the level of construction and reconstruction doesn’t meet the ambition of the people of Mosul due to mismanagement and corruption.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Hayali said that three of the five bridges in the city have been repaired, noting that the services sector is still weak, despite the improvement in the security conditions.

“There is also a problem of declining job opportunities despite the increased investments carried out by various parties within the city,” he indicated.

Editor Picks