On May 24, the director of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Media Center Mustefa Bali revealed that the SDF and the Iraqi Army had established a series of joint border posts along the Syrian-Iraqi border.
— Mustefa Bali (@mustefa2bali) May 24, 2018
Bali claimed that these joint border posts are aimed at preventing ISIS fighters from infiltrating the Syrian-Iraqi border. However, Syrian pro-government activists believe that the US is trying to give the SDF some legitimacy by pressuring the Iraqi government to cooperate with it.
These joint border posts will also allow the US-led coalition to directly control large parts of the Syrian-Iraqi border, thus forbidding Iranian forces from using these parts.
Over the last few months, the US has pushed for greater cooperation between the SDF and the Iraqi Army. Despite this Iraqi official didn’t openly talk about this matter, the Iraqi government indeed improved its cooperation with the US-backed force in Syria.
The Iraqi Air Force even carried out a series of airstrikes on ISIS positions in the town of Hajin, in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, in support for the ongoing attack of the SDF on the town.
Local observers believe that the Iraqi government behavior may led to some tensions with the Damascus government, especially that the Iraqi side has not reopened the al-Bukamal border crossing that was secured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in late 2017.