Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The pro-government paramilitary troops have denied troops entrance to Syria, saying forces will not cross Iraqi borders.
“The news on al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] accessing Syrian lands are untrue,” Ahmed al-Assadi, the spokesperson, told Baghdad Today on Sunday.
“How would the troops reach to Deir al-Zor, while fighting to liberate Iraqi cities from Islamic State?” he wondered.
Regarding PMFs participation in the anticipated battle to liberate Al-BuKamal in Syria, Assadi said, “Iraqi law does not allow armed forces to cross the borders without approvals of the cabinet and parliament. At the meantime, the issue is ruled out.”
News reports mentioned that PMFs, along other Iraqi troops, accessed Deir al-Zor in Syria and that Iraqi jets penetrated the Syrian airspace. Aerial bombardments near Al-BuKamal, located near Iraqi-Syrian borders, reportedly left six civilians killed, including children, and others wounded.
Saad al-Jayashi, head of the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, told Al-Hurra TV channel’s website on Saturday that Iraqi troops do not have orders to follow Islamic State militants in Syria.
Many IS militants reportedly fled Qaim town, in western Anbar, heading to al-BuKamal in Syria, after several leaders ran away and were killed in airstrikes by the Iraqi and U.S.-Coalition jets.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Friday full liberation of Qaim in record time. The operation started in late October.