Iraqi forces arrest 13 more Syrians trying to cross into Iraq

File – Iraqi forces hold a position near the Syrian border. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi forces have detained 13 more Syrian nationals on the border with Syria after they tried to cross into Iraq, according to Iraq’s authorities.

The security forces arrested five Syrians for crossing the border illegally into Iraq after a “tight ambush” was set up in Shaalan village in Nineveh, the Iraqi military said.

On Thursday, eight more Syrian nationals were detained in the same village after they crossed into Iraq, it added.

The Iraqi forces have detained dozens of Syrians who were trying to cross into Iraq from Syria in the past months.

In July, as many as 20 Syrians including women and children were arrested on the border with Syria.

Iraq has tightened security along 600 km border with Syria to curb the movement of Islamic State (ISIS) militants, drug smuggling and other illegal activities.

The Iraqi military has also detained several ISIS suspects who were trying to cross the border with Syria in the past months.

The federal government announced victory over ISIS by the end of 2017 after Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by U.S.-led Coalition regained control of areas once captured by the militant group.

Despite its defeat, ISIS still poses a threat to the security and stability of the country as there are still sleeper cells in Iraq.

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