Militants seize Iraq-Syria border crossing: Officers

Sunni Arab militants have seized the Al-Waleed border post between Iraq and Syria, officers said today, meaning that all crossings between the neighbouring countries are now outside government control.

AFP| Last Updated: Jun 23, 2014, 20:14 PM IST

Ramadi:Sunni Arab militants have seized the Al-Waleed border post between Iraq and Syria, officers said today, meaning that all crossings between the neighbouring countries are now outside government control.

The militants took the crossing yesterday, a colonel and a captain in the border guards said.

Security forces that had been guarding it headed south to join troops at another crossing with Jordan, they said.

The two other official crossings between Iraq and Syria, Al-Qaim and Rabia, are also outside government hands, with militants holding the first and security forces from the country`s autonomous Kurdish region in control of the second.

With the seizure of Al-Waleed, the militants have increased their ability to bring men and materiel across the border from Syria and have tightened their control over western Iraq.

A major militant offensive, led by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant but involving other groups as well, has overrun swathes of five Iraqi provinces since it was launched on June 9.
Security forces wilted under the initial onslaught, and are now struggling to hold their ground in the face of the relentless militant drive.