International coalition boosts Iraqi army border control capabilities
By Khalid al-Taie
The international coalition is taking steps to strengthen the Iraqi army's capabilities in securing the country's borders, a spokesman for the Iraqi Defence Ministry announced Wednesday (December 20th).
This comes as part of a joint co-operation plan to develop Iraqi forces' skills in holding the border and equipping them with the necessary tools.
This co-operation reflects the "great desire of the international coalition's leadership to keep up its commitment and its pledges to provide Iraqi forces with necessary support", said ministry media director Brig. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji.
"Today, after Iraq announced its victory over the terrorists, the coalition seeks to improve the Iraqi army's readiness to protect the border," he told Diyaruna.
The aim is to develop the military's capabilities and enhance the equipment used to monitor and thwart cross-border infiltration attempts by terror elements, he said.
"Coalition forces on December 18th provided members of the army's 15th Division with a number of advanced military vehicles to boost border control," al-Khafaji said.
Those vehicles "are supplied with advanced communication equipment", he said, adding that security personnel have been trained on using the vehicles to track infiltrators.
The vehicles are part of a first batch of equipment provided to the Iraqi army, he said, noting that future batches will include communication equipment and border watchtowers.
The Iraqi government has designed a "comprehensive plan" to secure the Iraqi-Syrian border, Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi announced at a December 5th press conference.
The Iraqi army has recently beefed up its patrols on the border strip with Syria, setting up barricades, fixed checkpoints and watchtowers to tackle militant infiltration.