After taking the ancient city of Palmyra (known in Arabic as Tadmur), the Islamic State has reportedly seized the Syrian side of the Al Waleed border crossing with Iraq. The Syrian side of the crossing is known as Al Tanf.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the regime forces stationed at the crossing withdrew in the face of the Islamic State advance. As SOHR notes, with the capture of the crossing, the Syrian regime has lost control of all crossings with Iraq. The Islamic State also controls the Albu Kamal crossing in Deir al Zour, while the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) control the al Yarobiyyi crossing in Syria’s al Hasakah province.
As a result of the capture, the Iraqi military is said to be sending reinforcements to the Iraqi side of the border. An Iraqi official was quoted in Al Masalah as saying, “The Iraqi Security Forces are in control of the Al Waleed border crossing between Iraq and Syria, but they are not sufficient enough to protect the crossing.” The Al Walid border crossing was captured by the Islamic State along with the nearby Trebil border crossing with Jordan on June 22, 2014. The two crossings were subsequently retaken by the Iraqi military just days later.
However, on Nov. 25, the Islamic State launched a suicide attack on the Trebil crossing, killing or wounding at least six Iraqi Army personnel. On Dec. 23, the Islamic State attacked the Al Waleed crossing, killing five members of the Iraqi Border Police. The jihadist group subsequently released photographs from the battle. The Iraqi Security Forces remain in control of the Trebil crossing and the Iraqi side of the Al Waleed crossing.
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