By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
As the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) continue their operations in the western areas of Mosul, some PMU factions reached the Syrian border May 29 and were met by Syrian army divisions on the other side of the border.
According to the May 29 statements of Hadi al-Ameri, secretary-general of the PMU-affiliated Badr Organization, PMU forces are stationed in the Um Jaris village on the Iraqi-Syrian border, northwest of the Ninevah governorate.
The forces announced that they intend to continue to control the Iraqi-Syrian border toward al-Qaim district, north of the Anbar governorate, stretching over 300 kilometers (186 miles).
International coalition aircraft had previously bombed a convoy of the Syrian army and armed loyalists near the border triangle between Iraq, Syria and Jordan, according to Abu Alaa al-Walai, secretary-general of the Martyrs of Sayyid Battalions, affiliated with the PMU. “The US aircraft bombed Friday night, May 19, PMU forces in the area of Abu Kamal, near the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Walai said.
As the Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad prepares to exert influence over the Iraqi-Syrian border with the help of its allies in Iraq and Iran, the opposition armed groups seek to do the same with the support of the international coalition. The border area between Iraq and Syria will turn into a conflict zone between the allies of Tehran and those of Washington.
Ahmad al-Asadi, a PMU spokesman, told Al-Monitor, “The PMU forces will mobilize to secure the Iraqi-Syrian border and then shut it down to prevent the infiltration of terrorist groups.”