BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 A.M.) – The Iraqi Ministry of Defense denied on Monday a recent report claiming their armed forces would be deploying to Syria to replace the U.S. Coalition troops.
Citing a source from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Kurdistan 24 reported that news being “circulated on some media outlets regarding the existence of a deal or negotiations to allow the entry of the Iraqi armed forces 70 kilometers into the Syrian territory” are baseless and without merit.
Earlier on Monday, Sky News cited a “political source” as claiming that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi had discussed the matter in their recent phone call.
While the Iraqi military will not be replacing the U.S. Coalition forces in Syria, they will continue to maintain an active presence around the border.
“The Iraqi forces are ready to counter any infiltration attempts and our forces have fully secured the Iraqi-Syrian border,” the Iraqi Ministry of Defense source told Kurdistan 24 on Monday.
Some Iraqi paramilitary forces from Hashd Al-Sha’abi (var. Popular Mobilization Units) are currently active in eastern Syria; however, they area primarily deployed along the border and they have been approved by Damascus to maintain a presence in this large desert region.