Minister highlights border with Syria as critical

Iraqi Interior Minister details border security lapses, calls for urgent measures

BAGHDAD, October 2 — Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari stated on Sunday that authorities were working to shore up border security in areas across the country by increasing security installations and facilities.

Al-Shammari spoke in an interview with journalist Karim Hamadi and cited “abnormal activity” on the border between Sulaymaniyah, as well as a 50-kilometer gap in the Hawizeh Marshes, on the border of Basra and Iran as areas of concern. According to the Minister, the Iraqi army is closing the Hawizeh gap by building a dam and trench.

The most significant issue, however, he said, was Iraq’s border with Syria, north of the Euphrates, emphasizing the need for a large concrete wall due to the presence of multiple armed groups in the region with no established state authority.

“The military engineering units of the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are continuing to build a dam and trench in the Hawizeh Marshes, opposite the Iranian dam, which will close the open border gap of 50 kilometers to eliminate smuggling activities there. More than 40 attachments have been referred for construction along the border strip in Sulaymaniyah to be closed, in the 21st Brigade area, which is held by the Border Forces Command. There is abnormal activity, and the directives of the Prime Minister are clear regarding the border strip.” Al-Shammari said.

“We can negotiate with all neighboring countries about our borders, except on the Syrian side, as the situation is different, especially in the northern Euphrates region. There is no state there, but there is the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) organization, and many of these areas are outside our control, and there are others controlled by ISIS. Therefore, we must have preventive measures with a concrete wall, trenches, and more because we have an enemy that breaches by force,” he added.