IraqSyria

Iraqi govt. forces, Hashd Sha’abi fighters foiling Daesh infiltration bids on Syria border

A high-ranking Iraqi military official says fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, alongside national security forces are effectively thwarting infiltration attempts of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists on the western border with Syria.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul, a military spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said qualitative and pre-emptive operations by both Hashd al-Sha’abi and security forces are underway along the frontier to prevent possible infiltrations in various spots.

“The forces continue to set up several ambushes along the border. Our units have been able in the past to arrest a number of smugglers and terrorists,” he added.

“The forces arrested infiltrators from Daesh terror cells with foreign nationalities, including Syrian nationals. Pre-emptive and qualitative operations are of paramount importance and rely on considerable intelligence,” Rasoul pointed out.

“The focus of our forces has been on collection of top-secret intelligence to capture terrorists along the border with Syria. Sometimes, we target dens and hideouts where Daesh terrorists are trying to take refuge in the depths of the desert. Surveillance towers and thermal cameras are monitoring all movements along Iraq-Syria border round the clock,” the senior Iraqi military official pointed out.

“The Iraqi-Syrian frontier is 605 kilometers long, and is controlled by Iraqi border guards, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters as well as Iraqi army units in various areas. The forces continue to secure the border line under the directives of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and under the supervision of the Minister of Defense [Juma Inad] and the Chief of Staff of the Army [Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah],” Rasoul said.

Hashd al-Sh’abai fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Back in November 2016, the Iraqi parliament approved a law giving full legal status to the fighters. It recognized the PMU as part of the national armed forces, placed the forces under the command of the prime minister, and granted them the right to receive salaries and pensions like the regular army and police forces.

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