Iraq has finished building a concrete wall along the border with Syria in Al-Baghouz and it was inaugurated yesterday in the presence of Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari and several security leaders.
A statement released by the ministry, obtained by the Iraqi News Agency, said: “The concrete wall is part of a series of large security fortifications conducted by the Ministry of Interior to enhance border security.”
“These fortifications have helped combat terrorist gangs affiliated with ISIS [Daesh], prevent smuggling operations, and control the security of the Iraqi-Syrian border.”
“The Minister of Interior praised the efforts of the border forces leadership as the first line of defense for Iraq and toured a number of security checkpoints of the border forces deployed there,” the statement added.
Understanding Iraq's new border wall with Syria.
Extremists and drugs are flowing into #Iraq through its northwestern border with #Syria. #Bagdad's solution is to build a 31-mile-long (50 km) wall in this region, formerly held by the Islamic State. Will it work? pic.twitter.com/RSMBbs0Wj9
— CGTN America (@cgtnamerica) October 5, 2023
At the height of their power, Daesh controlled around 40 per cent of Iraq and a third of Syria. Despite Baghdad’s declaration of victory over Daesh in 2017, and the group’s territorial defeat two years later in Al-Baghouz, they remain a persistent threat to both countries and the wider region, maintaining a low-level insurgency in eastern Syria and western Iraq in particular.
In 2018, Iraq began the construction of a security fence along its border with Syria to stop Daesh fighters from crossing into the country. In 2022, it was reported that in the “first stage” of constructing a wall around “a dozen kilometers (7 miles) long and 3.5 meters (11 feet) high was built in Nineveh province,” in the Sinjar area of northwest Iraq.
In September of last year, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved a budget for building a concrete wall along the border with Syria, by allocating nearly $11.6 million to connect the existing section of the wall in the Sharji Al-Rawi area, south of Tel Safouk, on the Syrian side.