The Iraqi Armed Forces are not going to carry out a ground military operation inside Syria, Alghad Press reported on November 7 citing a military source in Iraq’s Joint Operations Command. The source claimed that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) had fully secured the country’s border with Iraq.
“Surveillance cameras observed that the militants were 5 kilometers inside Syrian territory,” the source claimed adding that ISF “have no intentions to carry out any military operations in Syria and that they received orders to respond to any terrorist attack.”
The source also revealed an open secret that Iraqi troops are deployed across the border with Syria and in the nearby desert area.
In October and November, ISF carried out several strikes on ISIS targets in the Euphrates Valley in Syria. At the same time, reports appeared that ISF and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deployed additional forces near al-Qaim after ISIS had recaptured multiple positions in the Euphrates Valley from US-backed forces.
At some moment, there was a real threat that ISIS may retake a chunk of the border from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. However, now, when the situation is stable there, chances of public Iraqi ground military action against the group in the area are very low.
At the same time, some Iranian-backed units of the PMU have already crossed to Syria in order to assist Syrian government troops to secure the western bank of the Euphrates near al-Bukamal.