Iraqi Shiite Paramilitaries Deploy to Syrian Border
BAGHDAD Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups have deployed to the frontier to back up border guard forces who came under fire from within Syria over the past three days, one of their commanders said on Friday.
There was no immediate word on who opened fire from Syrian territory, but forces arrayed against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria expect the group will resort to guerrilla warfare after losing its urban bastions earlier this year.
After several Iraqi border guard positions came under several attacks by missiles, and backup from security forces was late, the 13th brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was deployed and targeted the origins of the launch, PMF commander for west Anbar, Qassem Mesleh, said in a statement.
Operations command and the infantry brigade are now present on the Iraqi-Syrian border in border guard positions to repel any attack or movement by the enemy, Mesleh said. This area is not within the PMF’s remit but it is our duty to back up all security forces.
The PMF is an umbrella grouping of mostly Iran-backed and trained Shiite militias that formally report to Iraq’s prime minister but are separate from the military and police.
Rasool, the military spokesman, denied backup to the border guards had been late.
The primary responsibility for the borders lies with the border guards and the army, however, said Rasool.
He said Iraqi forces coordinate with both the Syrian army, which is backed by Russia, Iran and Iran-backed Shiite militias, and the U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He said parts of Syria � including many areas on the border with Iraq � were still under Islamic State control.
Source: Voice of Americahttps://syrianewsgazette.com/iraqi-shiite-paramilitaries-deploy-to-syrian-border/General