Syrian Army, Allies Reach Iraqi Border: Commander
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Syria’s army and its allies in the southeast Syrian desert reached the Iraqi border on Friday, near the Tanf base, a commander said.
"The first units of the army and its allies arrived to the Syrian-Iraqi border northeast of al-Tanf," said the non-Syrian commander, Reuters reported.
The area is seen as crucial to the army and could open an overland supply route to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The Tanf base lies in the Syrian Badia, a vast sparsely populated desert territory that stretches to the Jordanian and Iraqi borders. Damascus has declared the Badia region a military priority.
"It's a message to everyone," he said without elaborating.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said dozens of soldiers and pro-government forces had arrived at the border.
They reached a point nearly 50 km north of al-Tanf, after going through the desert around the area held by US-backed rebels, it said.
Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.