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Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces Cross into Syria with Heavy Weapons | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi fighters from PMF take part in a training at Makhmur camp in Iraq December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Beirut, Moscow- Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) once again entered Syrian territories, a few hours after a regime military delegation visited Baghdad and following the US deployment of two rocket launchers in al-Tanf military camp at the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border.

El-Dorar al-Shamiya news network wrote on Thursday: “The Iraqi Popular Mobilization militia launched a fierce attack on ISIS areas at the border villages of southeastern Hasaka.”

The news network said heavy and medium weapons were used in the fighting.

“The shelling hit a commercial market in the village of Tal al-Jariah,” El-Dorar said.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the PMF has been present at the border for the past several months.

But, the Observatory said that these forces have not yet received from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi the green light to infiltrate Syria, except when the PMF entered two villages for a couple of hours before pulling back.

“The PMF deliberately attacks ISIS areas south of al-Hasaka and at the northeastern border of Deir Ezzor, trying to advance towards the northeast of al-Tanf to meet with Hezbollah and al-Nujaba militias coming from the Homs desert,” the Observatory said.

It added that for the first time in several weeks, regime warplanes pounded on Thursday the neighborhood of Jawbar al-Dimashqui, the last opposition bastion east of the capital.

President of al-Rutbah district Imad al-Dalimi announced that “sections from the Iraqi border guards and al-Hashd al-Ashaeri arrived during the last 24 hours to the outskirts of al-Waleed border gate with Syria.”

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his country plans to boost the capacities of the Syrian regime forces, which would allow Russian forces to relocate to their bases inside the country. The president also said the Russian army received “priceless” experiences from participating in the military operations in Syria.