Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Shia cleric and militancy leader Muqtada al-Sadr has urged the Iraqi government to ensure protection for its borders with Syria after a controversial deal between Islamic State militants and Lebanese militia Hezbollah helped the group redeploy there.
“The Iraqi government is required to secure the borders with Syrian al-Boukamal region,” Sadr tweeted on Thursday. “We are fully prepared to cooperate with it (the government)”.
A deal between Hezbollah and Islamic State fighters, approved by the Syrian government, has gone into force, granting IS militants a safe exit from the Syrian-Lebanese borders towards the Syrian Al-Boukamal city, near the borders with Iraq’s Anbar.
Baghdad has lambasted the agreement, saying it endangers its security. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for an investigation by Damascus into the controversial deal.
Speaking to Alsumaria News, Naeem al-Kaoud, chairman of the Anbar province’s security committee, said IS had already deployed members coming from Syria at the province’s western areas. “Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group has deployed a large number of their fighters coming from Syria at the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim”. He deemed the situation “violation of Iraq’s sovereignty”.
IS has held the three towns since 2014, and the government marks them as future targets of its military action seeking to end the group’s existence.