Kadhimi visits Iraqi-Syrian border area in Nineveh

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi overlooks the border area between Iraq and Syria in Nineveh province, January 26, 2022. (Photo: Iraqi PM office)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrived in the Iraqi-Syrian border area in Nineveh province on Wednesday, following an Islamic State (ISIS) attack on a prison in northeast Syria.

Kadhimi was accompanied by the ministers of defense and interior as well as a number of military and security officials, according to his office.

He discussed with the security and military officials “procedures and precautions” to prevent attacks on the country, his office said in a tweet.

“I tell Daesh terrorists: Do not try us. You have tried a lot and failed, and you will try a lot and will fail. You know very well that we are pursuing you inside and outside Iraq … You will pay the price for every folly you have committed,” Kadhimi said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State (ISIS).

“You are a group of gangs that have no place among us … We will accept nothing but to eliminate you and protect our land and honor,” he added.

The Iraqi prime minister further said the country would be preserved when the borders are maintained and protected, calling on the security forces to intensify their efforts and work around “the clock”, his office said.

“You must assume all your responsibility and do not be negligent because our morale is solid,” Kadhimi added.

The prime minister’s visit came hours after the Popular Mobilization Forces, or Hashid al-Shaabi in Arabic, said its units thwarted an attempt by Islamic State (ISIS) militants to infiltrate Sinjar in Nineveh governorate.

The incident came just days after ISIS militants attacked and seized Sina prison in Hasakah, northeast of Syria, on Thursday.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued to clash with the militants still holed up in some buildings.

Dozens of ISIS militants escaped into the surrounding area in the attack, which included detonating a car bomb near the prison gates, while other inmates took over part of the facility.

The SDF said the death tally stood at around 200 inmates and 27 of its fighters, while over 550 militants have surrendered.

The jail is the largest among several publicly known ones where the SDF holds suspected militants and other detainees in what aids groups say are overcrowded and inhumane conditions.

*This story was updated at 02:12 p.m. EBL time

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