Iraqi forces seize strategic border crossing with Syria

 04 Nov 2017 - 13:24

Iraqi forces seize strategic border crossing with Syria

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ANBAR, Iraq: Iraqi forces have wrested control of the Al-Qaim border crossing with Syria from the IS terrorist group, Iraqi military sources said Friday.

“Iraqi anti-terrorism forces, backed by tribal volunteer fighters, have successfully liberated the Al-Qaim border crossing,” Iraqi Army Colonel Walid al-Duleimi told Anadolu Agency.

Located in Iraq’s western Anbar province (roughly 410 kilometers west of provincial capital Ramadi), the Al-Qaim crossing links the Iraqi city of Husaybah to the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir ez-Zour province. 

“Our forces managed to retake the crossing after killing several IS elements,” said al-Duleimi, adding that “large numbers” of IS militants had fled across the border into neighboring Syria.

Last month, Al-Qaim became the last IS-held Iraq-Syria border crossing after Iraqi forces retook the Al-Walid and Rabia crossings respectively located in Anbar and Nineveh province.

The Al-Qaim border crossing stands roughly two kilometers west of the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim, which Iraqi forces reportedly captured on Friday.

Last month, the Iraqi army began a wide-ranging campaign aimed at capturing the cities of Rawa and Al-Qaim, IS's last remaining redoubts in Anbar province. 

The notorious terrorist group has recently suffered a string of crushing defeats in both Iraq and Syria after overrunning vast swathes of territory in both countries in 2014.