IS seize Iraqi border crossing with Syria

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SHAFAQNA – The Islamic State (IS) militants on Sunday took control of al-Walid border crossing point with the neighboring Syria in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, after clashes with the security forces, a provincial security source and an official said.

“The militants of Daash (IS group) have seized al-Walid crossing early in the morning after the withdrawal of Iraqi forces,” the security source told reporterso n condition of anonymity.

The troops’ withdrawal came after heavy clashes with the IS militants who carried out an attack from al-Tanaf border crossing on the Syrian side, the source said, adding that the extremist militants used suicide car bombs in their attacks on the Iraqi side.

Saad Jasim, head of border crossings of Anbar provincial council, said that there is no casualty among the government employees of al-Walid border crossing because they are already transferred to Trebil border crossing with Jordan after the fall of al-Tanaf border crossing on the Syrian side three days ago.

Jasim blamed the Iraqi government for the fall of al-Walid border crossing because there is no enough military support for the security forces and border guards.

The IS group has seized most of Anbar province and tried to advance toward Baghdad during the past few months, but was repelled by the security forces and allied Shiite and Sunni militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization. The group also frequently tried to seize the border crossing points in the remote desert areas on the borders with Syria.

The security situation in Iraq has been drastically deteriorated since June last year, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS.

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