Iraqi Troops Enter Syria, Seize 30 Border Posts

Raids aim at posts seized by ISIS in recent days

With ISIS having recently made gains against Kurdish YPG-held border posts in eastern Syria, the Iraqi military has sent troops across the border into Syria, and has seized at least 30 of the border posts.

ISIS has seized the posts over the past week and a half, as part of a flurry of counter-offensives against the Kurds. Iraqi Army forces indicates that they took the border posts fairly quickly, and there is no reporting of major clashes.

Where this leaves the Iraqis is unclear, as they effectively are controlling border posts inside Syria, and there is no immediate practical way to return them to either the Syrian or Kurdish regional forces. This might mean they’re stuck in these remote parts of the Syrian desert for awhile.

Iraq’s al-Maida newspaper quoted officials as saying that the posts are all within 50 meters of the Iraq-Syria border, and that so far there are no orders for the military to seize any additional posts. Iraq has sent large numbers of forces to the Syrian border, fearing the ISIS fighting could spread across the border and allow ISIS to reclaim Iraqi towns.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of