Iraq reinforces Syrian border

Iraq sent police reinforcements today to the Syrian border after last weekend’s US raid against an alleged al-Qaida hideout in Syria raised tension between the two countries, officials said.

Iraq sent police reinforcements today to the Syrian border after last weekend’s US raid against an alleged al-Qaida hideout in Syria raised tension between the two countries, officials said.

Police Colonel Jubair Rashid Naief said a police quick reaction force for Anbar province moved to the border town of Qaim, about 200 miles north-west of Baghdad, to prevent al-Qaida from moving into the area from Syria.

Al-Arabiya television quoted witnesses as saying scores of armoured vehicles were seen moving from the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi to Qaim, which had been a major al-Qaida stronghold until Anbar’s Sunni tribes turned against al-Qaida.

The police moves follow last Sunday’s bold US raid on the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal, during which US officials say they killed a top al-Qaida militant who operated a network of smuggling fighters into Iraq.

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