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  • Syrian government forces pose for a photo before battle

    Syrian government forces pose for a photo before battle | Photo: © Sputnik / Mikhail Alayeddin

Published 5 May 2019

Iraqi and Syrian forces have recently stepped up their border security to prevent Islamic State fighters from traveling freely between both countries. 

The Syrian government forces and Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces have banned together to conduct a joint military operation along their shared border, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported on Friday.

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The operation began on Friday morning and targeted the areas used by the Islamic State to infiltrate between the two neighboring Middle Eastern nations. 

On Saturday, the Popular Mobilization Forces announced via Facebook that the operation was successful, adding that they were able to secure the border with Syria. 

Syria and Iraq have strengthened their ties and collaboration over the last few years, thanks in large part to the efforts from their allies Russia and Iran. 

At the same time, the Russian and Syrian forces also intensified air strikes and shelling in rebel-held northwestern Syria in recent days, the heaviest assault since the area was declared a demilitarized zone under a Russian-Turkish deal.

Since Tuesday (April 30), attacks have forced thousands of civilians to flee to camps further north along the Turkish border and damaged four medical facilities, according to Idlib civil defence officials and a U.S. medical aid agency working in the area.

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