The Iraqi Defence Ministry said Friday (July 20th) it dispatched three army combat units to the Syrian border to fill the gap on the Syrian side after Free Syrian Army elements took over border crossings and several border outposts.
"The Iraqi forces arrived Thursday evening and managed to control the troubled areas between the two countries," Lt. Col. Nejim al-Dulaimi, the Iraqi army spokesperson in Anbar, told Al-Shorfa. "The goal of these reinforcements is to prevent al-Qaeda militants from crossing into Iraq and the escape of individuals wanted by Iraqi judiciary to Syria."
A state of maximum alert was declared on the border in anticipation of any emergency.
In Qaim, 340 kilometres west of Baghdad, the Iraqi police and army bolstered their fixed and mobile checkpoints and enforced strict security measures on journalists seeking to reach the Qaim border crossing.
Iraq shares a 600-kilometre border with Syria, and around half of it is located in Anbar province.