Iraq's Border Forces report significant achievements in 2023: 13,000 apprehended

Iraq's Border Forces report significant achievements in 2023: 13,000 apprehended

Shafaq News / The Border Forces Command revealed on Wednesday the overall achievements of its units along the Iraqi border with neighboring countries, confirming the apprehension of 13,000 individuals in 2023, including infiltrators and drug smugglers.

The Border Forces Commander, Major General Mohammed Sukkar, stated that "the Border Command is responsible for securing Iraq's borders with its six neighboring countries, and we have the longest borders with Iran, stretching 1493 kilometers. The borders with Saudi Arabia are 814 kilometers, followed by Syria with 618 kilometers, Turkey with 362 kilometers, Kuwait with 254 kilometers, and the shortest borders are with Jordan, measuring 180 kilometers." He emphasized that "the total length of borders with neighboring countries is 3719 kilometers."

He added that "the Border Command operates centrally at the federal level, responsible for Iraq's borders in all governorates from Zakho to Faw," stressing that "the nature of the borders varies from one country to another, depending on factors such as the terrain, whether mountainous, marshy, or desert, and other factors, including the security situation at the border between the two countries, the proximity of local populations, and economic and living differences."

Sukkar explained that "the Border Forces Command has coordination, cooperation, and protocols with the border authorities of neighboring countries. These protocols have their system, starting from the commander of the brigade responsible for the border area. He meets every three months with his counterpart in the neighboring country, and the leaders of the region meet every six months, while the leaders of the countries meet annually."

He pointed out that "the Minister of Interior, with significant support and follow-up, has enabled the Border Command to achieve significant accomplishments in 2023. These accomplishments contributed to the control and stabilization of the domestic situation and resulted in a decrease in the flow of drugs into the country." He emphasized that "most of our accomplishments focus on enhancing the combat capabilities of the Border Forces Command through the allocation of human resources from new recruits and those whose contracts have expired, as well as the formation of new units."

He highlighted the most significant accomplishment on the borders, stating, "For the first time in the history of the Iraqi state, electronic surveillance has been used, including thermal cameras, drones, communication devices, and we have initiated large projects." He added, "During 2023, we managed to expel lawless elements from Erbil and al-Sulaymaniyah, especially the border areas in the Sida Kan region, which our forces controlled for the first time since 1991, in coordination with the Iranian side."

Sukkar continued, "Drugs were seized, and infiltrators and drug smugglers were apprehended. In 2023, the Border Forces Command apprehended 13,000 individuals, mostly infiltrators, including individuals of Pakistani, Iranian, and Syrian nationalities, in addition to smugglers and customs violators."

Responding to a question about the infiltration of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters into Iraq, Sukkar affirmed that "there are problems on the Iraqi-Turkish border, including lawless individuals in border areas and Turkish military incursions. We have coordination with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Turkish side to find a mutually agreeable formula." He noted, "In 2023, we have more than 24 border outposts on the Iraqi-Turkish border."

He emphasized that "this area is difficult due to its terrain and climate, but great efforts are made by the units to control the region," adding, "The Border Forces Command operates in all governorates, including the first region based in Erbil, which is part of the Border Command. It is responsible for securing the border with Turkey and Iran. We have extensive coordination with the Region Guard, and the units operate along the border strip with the Kurdistan Regional Government

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