Iraq Builds Wall Along Border with Syria to Stop ISIS Infiltration

The government of Iraq has decided to build a concrete wall along part of its border with Syria in order to prevent the infiltration of Islamic State extremists inside its soil.

A wall around “a dozen kilometers long and 3.5 meters high” was built in the Sinjar area in the northwest Nineveh province, a senior Iraqi military official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Our main goal is to stop the inflow of ISIS terrorists inside our territory,” the official said but did not specify how long the wall would be built as Iraq shares a more than 600-kilometer long border with Syria.

In 2018, the government of Iraq said they will start work on fencing along the Syrian border for the same reason. 

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Monday said that the wall’s construction was carried out in an area facing the town of Al-Shaddadi, in the south of Syria’s Hasakeh province.

In January, ISIS fighters stormed a prison in the Kurdish-controlled province, to free their detained comrades that faced strong resistance from the Iraqi and Kurdish forces that left hundreds of people dead.

“Many prisoners are thought to have escaped, with some crossing to neighboring Turkey or Turkish-held territory in Syria’s north,” SOHR said in a statement.

In 2017, Iraq has declared victory against the ISIS extremist group after intense fighting since 2014, but the group is reportedly still involved in some low-level insurgency, particularly in rural and mountainous areas between Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region and the northern outskirts of the capital, according to SOHR.

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