On Sunday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah officially met with the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) on the Syrian-Iraqi border near the newly liberated Akashat town in Iraq.
The SAA and Hezbollah deployed several special force and armoured units right on the border line with Iraq, according to Iraqi sources.
According to a report of the UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, officials from the Iraqi Army and the PMU met with officials of the SAA last month in Damascus and agreed to establish three joint positions on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The Syrian side also gave Iraqi forces a permission to enter 10km deep inside the Syrian territory if it’s needed. Iraqi sources also claimed that some tanks and armored vehicles of the SAA entered the Iraqi territory and joined Iraqi units on Sunday. This could mean that the SAA also got the permission to enter the Iraqi territories.
The SAA and Hezbollah will likely attack al-Bukamal city advancing from the southern direction along the border line. The attack will likely be coordinated with the Iraqi forces advance on al-Qa’im city on the Iraqi side of the border. This joint attack will ease a battle against ISIS in this strategic area that allows to control the Deir Ezzor-Baghdad highway.
In a related development, the PMU media wing announced on Sunday that PMU military engineers are now building an airfield south of Qayyarah town south of Mosul. The airfield will be mostly used by Iraqi Air Force attack helicopters to support the upcoming operations towards al-Qa’im as well as Hawija located south of Kirkuk city.
Moreover, Deputy Chairman of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, held a meeting with the Iraqi Joint Operation Command on Sunday to discuss the ongoing preparation for the “upcoming operations”, according to the PMU media wing.
The upcoming al-Bukamal, al-Qa’im and Hawija operations will be a huge blow for ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Al-Qa’im and al-Bukamal cities are now considered the last major ISIS supply line between Syria and Iraq.
An interview with a Syrian soldier on the border: