Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Fayssal Mekdad says they’ve arrested 1200 people at the border in the past few weeks. Most of them were foreigners, from Kuwait, Saudi, Libya and Yemen, and were trying to enter Iraq to fight.
It is the first time that Syria has admitted that fighters were crossing the Syrian-Iraqi border to fight.
It’s also the first time that Syria has acknowledged how high the co-operation with the US Army goes: “We gave a lot of information to the United States on these issues, which prevented many attacks, but regrettably, the United States did not recognise such kind of help.”
America has put pressure on Syria to prevent fighters crossing into Iraq. Syria says that America went back on an agreement to provide money and training for Syrian border guards. America has also been blamed for not securing the Iraqi side of the border.
It is unclear why Syria has made this sudden announcement, but it is possibly to show the US that they are doing what the US is demanding. Recently Syria has cracked down on members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an extreme Muslim group, with ideological connections to Al-Qaeda. They want to show that Syria shares a common enemy with America, and is dealing with Muslim militants.
Or is this a Libya situation: deny that you have a problem – and then invent the problem so you can get rid of it. No, we have no nuclear weapons…..oh ok, look, look, we DO have nuclear weapons, but now we’re going to get rid of them – can we be your friends now?