Al Waleed border crossing

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Al Waleed border crossing (Arabic: نقطة الوليد الحدودية العراقية‎, also spelled al-Walid), known in Syria as al-Tanf, is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq.[1] Al Waleed is located in the Ar-Rutba District of the Al Anbar Governorate, close to the westernmost point of Iraq and the northeasternmost point of Jordan, in the desert Badia region. It serves as the main border checkpoint on the highway between Damascus and Baghdad. The al-Tanf checkpoint is on the Syrian side of the border, in Homs province. The Al-Waleed Palestinian refugee camp is nearby.

Syrian Civil War[edit source | edit]

In May 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants captured the checkpoint, thus obtaining control over the full length of the Iraq–Syria border. In early August 2016, the Iraqi checkpoint was recaptured by pro-government Iraqi tribal militias backed by the U.S.-led forces.[2][3] In August 2016, the BBC published photographs taken in June that year,[4] which it said showed British special forces soldiers apparently guarding the perimeter of the New Syrian Army's base, at al-Tanf in Syria's Homs province.

In March 2017, U.S.-backed Maghawir a-Thawra rebels re-opened the border point, resuming cross-border civilian traffic; a group referred to as Jaish al-Ashair al-Iraqi was said to control the Iraqi side of the crossing.[5] In April 2017, the U.S. "special forces" outpost at Al-Tanf was reported to be engaged in combat.[6][7] On 18 May 2017, U.S.-led coalition fighter jets struck a convoy of pro-Syrian government forces advancing towards the Tanf base, where the U.S. military operated and trained anti-government rebels.[8][9] Shortly thereafter, the Syrian forces were reported to continue their advance in a direction that suggested that their intent might be to outflank and isolate the U.S./rebel base at Al-Tanf;[10] the government forces appeared to use advanced Russia-made arms and were supported by Russian helicopters, a report acknowledged on May 26 by the Russian Defence ministry's media outlet.[11]

On 17 June 2017, the Iraqi military announced that the Iraqi army and Sunni tribal fighters, supported by U.S.-led coalition aircraft, had dislodged ISIL from the al-Waleed border crossing.[12]

At the end of December 2017, the Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said that the U.S. garrison at Al-Tanf was fully blocked by the Syrian government forces; he also claimed the U.S. was using the base as a training facility for ex-ISIL militants.[13][14]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Syrian border crossings". September 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  2. "Shia militia with international coalition liberate Waleed along Syrian border".
  3. "Iraqi tribal militia seizes strategic border area from Daesh".
  4. Sommerville, Quentin (8 August 2016). "UK special forces pictured on the ground in Syria". BBC News. Retrieved 9 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Rebels reopen border crossing between Syria, Iraq", Syria Direct, 29 May 2017
  6. Woody, Christopher (11 April 2017). "ISIS fighters got inside the wire during a hellish firefight with US Special Ops in Syria". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017.
  7. Dickstein, Corey (10 April 2017). "US forces help repel ISIS attack on southern Syrian base". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017.
  8. "Syria, Russia condemn US-led strike on pro-Assad forces: Deadly US-led coalition air raid against pro-Syrian government forces denounced as 'brazen' and 'unacceptable'".
  9. "US jets bomb Assad tank convoy advancing on coalition base in Syria"
  10. Exclusive: Photographs Show Russian Air Force Supporting Syrian Army on Al-Tanf Front Russia Insider, 23 May 2017.
  11. Ми-35 ВКС РФ наносит удар по террористам у границ Иордании: видео Zvezda (TV channel), 26 May 2017.
  12. "Iraqi forces remove Islamic State fighters from vicinity of U.S. base in Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 17 June 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. США готовят боевиков на базе в Эт-Танфе, рассказали в Генштабе RIA Novosti, 27 December 2017.
  14. Начальник Генштаба Вооруженных сил России генерал армии Валерий Герасимов: «Мы переломили хребет ударным силам терроризма» Komsomolskaya Pravda, 26 December 2017.

Template:Al Anbar cities Template:Syria border crossings

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