Iraq arrests 13 infiltrators along its border with Syria

Iraq arrests 13 infiltrators along its border with Syria
Iraqi border security announced the arrest of over a dozen people attempting to infiltrate the country from Syria, a common phenomenon between the two war-torn states
2 min read
29 November, 2021
Such operations are frequent along the Iraqi-Syrian border [Getty- file photo]

Iraqi authorities announced the arrest of 13 infiltrators on Monday who reportedly tried entering the country from Syria.

The Iraqi Security Media Cell (SMC) said in a statement that border security had stopped the individuals who had attempted to cross the border via the Syrian village of Al-Abtakh.

"The group was ambushed and arrested as soon as it crossed the Iraqi border," said the SMC.

The organisation said that the 13 arrested were Iraqi nationals who had gone to Syria a few years earlier.

An officer in the army's Al-Jazeera Operations Command - responsible for securing areas in western Iraq up to the border with Syria - said that strict security measures along the frontier with Syria had greatly reduced infiltration attempts.

Security and Defence Committee official, Ayoub Al-Rubaie, warned of the dangerous presence of foreign fighters in the country, adding that the Islamic State group had not completely ended.

Large swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory had been under the control of IS between 2013 and 2017. Despite being defeated, small cells remain active in both countries.

Authorities in Iraq frequently announce thwarting such attempts from neighbouring Syria, with some of those detained belonging to the Islamic State group or Kurdish militant groups.