London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s northern border with Iraq, where the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to make advances, is secure, boasting state-of-the-art security and surveillance equipment, a senior military official told Asharq Al-Awsat.
In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat Saudi Border Guards’ spokesman Gen. Mohammed Saad Al-Ghamdi spoke of high-level coordination between all military and security departments in the Kingdom. He reassured Saudi citizens that Interior Ministry drones could be used when needed.
The Saudi official stressed that border patrols had not spotted any suspicious movement along the Saudi-Iraqi border. “The security presence on the Kingdom’s borders increases during holidays and certain seasons which are often exploited by others to infiltrate into the Kingdom or conduct criminal acts,” he added.
The turmoil in neighboring Iraq has fueled fears of ISIS fighters advancing towards the Saudi border.
For its part, Pakistan has denied reports of it sending troops to Saudi Arabia as part of a coordination campaign to boost security along the kingdom’s vast borders with Iraq in the north and Yemen in the south.
In July three mortar shells landed at a residential complex in Jedidat Arar near the border with Iraq. No casualties were reported.
Also in July, an attack on a Saudi border patrol from Yemeni territory by Islamist Ansar Al-Sharia fighters ended in the death of five of the six attackers. The final attacker was arrested.
According to recent figures issued by the Saudi Border Guards, over 62,000 intruders have been arrested so far this year while trying to enter the Kingdom from Yemen.