News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraq shuts borders with Iran, Syria

Iraq shuts borders with Iran, Syria

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Reuters: Iraq has closed its borders with Iran and Syria as part of a security crackdown aimed at stopping foreign fighters and weapons entering the country, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said on Thursday. BAGHDAD, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Iraq has closed its borders with Iran and Syria as part of a security crackdown aimed at stopping foreign fighters and weapons entering the country, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said on Thursday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the closures took effect on Wednesday.

“The plan to close the borders went into effect last night. Many points were closed, but I can’t confirm that all were shut,” Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver told Reuters earlier.

Iraq had said it would shut the borders for 72 hours. The U.S. military said on Wednesday the aim was to allow procedures and the layout of border positions to be revamped.

Washington accuses Syria of allowing foreign fighters to cross its long, porous borders into Iraq and says Iran is supplying weapons, including roadside bombs, to Iraqi militants to kill U.S. soldiers. The two countries deny the claims.

Iraq said on Tuesday it would close four border crossings with Iran and two with Syria to try to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad.

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