The Syrian and Iraq forces met at the boarder for the first time in years. According to the Syrian military forces, this is by far one of their major achievements since the war against ISIS started. The development was confirmed by the US military force which had just shot down a fighter jet belonging to the Syrian Air Force. This was in response to the recent shooting of local troops allied with the US, which was orchestrated by the Syrian air forces. Tensions between the two sides are believed to have been escalated by this development. The Syrian jet which was shot down is the SU-22 when it was spotted near Tabqa, one of the towns in Syria.
Pro-government reporters had reported the incident a day that followed the Iraq force’s capturing of al-Waleed, a border crossing point between Iraq and Syria. This area was initially under the influence of the ISIS militants before it was captured by the Iraq forces in a battle which was characterized by animosity and intensity. Up to now, it remains unclear who could have reached the boarder first. It could have been the Iraq forces probably following their advancement towards the northeast region or the Syrian forces.
Regarding the Iraq forces maneuvers, the US led coalition indicated that it was fully aware of the Iraq forces maneuvers within the borders of the country including the spots along the border, a clear testimony to Baghdad’s resolve to bring down ISIS militants. “We are aware of the Iraq forces maneuvers near and along the border. But, we are also aware of the fact that the Iraq forces maneuvers do not in any way interfere with the operations of the US led coalitions,” said the colonel as he spoke to reporters from Pro-State TV.
Central Military Media recently released a map which showed Iraq troops alongside Syrian troops northeast of the al-Waleed border crossing point. According to reports from Hezbollah linked TV station, al-Manar TV whose militia is fighting alongside the Syrian forces, the Iraq and Syrian troops had met at the boarder following the Syrian army’s seizure of new territories in its Syrian campaigns.
Since 2015, the boarders have been under the control of ISIS. This is the first time that the two military forces are linking up at the boarder after the Iraq forces had moved northeast of al-Waleed in line with the report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which monitors the war as an external party based on British soil.
Up to 25, 000 square kilometers of land had been seized following the launch of the campaign reported a Syrian general when he was speaking to journalists on al-Ikhbariya TV, a pro government television channel. This amount of land is what enabled the group to reach the boarders of Iraq, an operation which was labelled qualitative.
“This development is a sign of cooperation between the Iraq and Syrian troops, which can be considered as brotherly nations,” said the general who is yet to be named.