Commander: Iraqi, U.S.-backed troops take hold of Nineveh borders with Syria

Iraqi army forces in Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.

Nineveh ( Iraqi troops backed by U.S. advisers have taken hold of the borderline between Syria and Iraq’s Nineveh province, a police commander was quoted saying.

Hamad al-Names, commander of Nineveh police, told BasNews website that Iraqi army forces have entered three villages to secure the borderline extending from Sinjar desert to Baaj desert, west of Mosul.

The forces will establish a permanent military base at sinjar mountain, according to Names.

Iraq declared last December its victory over Islamic State militants and the recapture of all territories that were under the extremist group’s control besides the border regions. But IS militants have occasionally breached security at the borderline.

But militants have occasionally launched attacks and engaged in encounters with Iraqi security forces since then, which prompted Iraq to carry out strikes on IS locations inside Syrian territories.

A U.S.-led coalition backed Iraqi forces’ operations against IS in 2014, but declared last April the end of its land operations and shifting to training and consultancy missions.

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