|[Published: Monday July 02 2018]
Iraq builds fence along Syria to block ISIL
BAGHDAD 2 Jul (ANA) - Iraq has begun the construction of a security fence along its border with Syria to stop ISIL members from cossing into the country, according to local officials.
The frontier barrier, which includes a six-metre-wide trench, so far runs for 20km north from the area around the border town of al-Qaim, which Iraqi forces retook from ISIL in November.
"Ten days ago we started to set up a barbed wire security fence with surveillance towers along the border with Syria," Anwar Hamid Nayef, border guards spokesman in Iraq's Anbar province, was quoted as saying on Sunday by AFP news agency.
Kurdistan 24 cited Major General Hamid Abdullah Ibrahim, commander of the Iraqi border guards, as saying that the forces were now preparing to install thermal cameras to prevent armed people attempting to cross from Syria.
"Neither infiltrators nor smugglers nor terrorists will penetrate our borders in the future," he said in a statement.
At the end of last year, Baghdad declared victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, which swept across Iraq in mid-2014 and seized control of nearly a third of the country.
The group, however, still holds pockets of territory in the vast deserts of eastern Syria and maintains its ability to attack inside Iraq.
Nayef said that experts from Baghdad's ministry of defence and an anti-ISIL coalition spearheaded by the United States would come "to evaluate the effectiveness of the fence".
"If they approve the installations, we will continue along the whole border with Syria," he said.
In total, the frontier stretches for some 600km.(ANA)
FA/ANA/2 July 2018------