Syria says it has increased security on Iraq border

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Syria says it has increased security on Iraq border, detained infiltrators

By ALBERT AJI - Associated Press Writer
AL-HERI, Syria - (AP) Syria has increased military posts and
patrols along its border with Iraq and stopped thousands of infiltrators
entering into the war-torn country, a top military officer said Friday.
The Syrian officer's comments came during a rare
government-orchestrated media tour along the 600 kilometer (370 mile) border
that appeared aimed at deflecting U.S.-led criticism that Damascus doing to
little to stop militants entering Iraq.
Syrian forces have increased their border outposts to 557 from 547
since June, with each position having eight to 10 soldiers, said the officer
who identified himself only Brig. Gen. Amin.
Syria has also caught 1,400 infiltrators from "Arab, Islamic and
other identities" and most have been returned to their countries, he said.
"Thousands" more Syrians have been stopped entering or leaving Iraq
illegally, while 2,500 Iraqis have been returned to Iraq after committing
crimes in Syria.
Washington and Baghdad have long criticized the regime of Syrian
President Bashar Assad for not locking down the Syrian side of the border to
Islamic extremists opposed to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.
But Assad's government rejects the claims, arguing it is impossible
to seal the border.
The Americans ratcheted the pressure in recent days after a U.N.
investigation's findings implicated Syrian officials in the February
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The United States, Britain and France, all permanent Security
Council members, promoted this week a resolution threatening tough sanctions
against Syria if it fails to cooperate with the Hariri assassination probe.
It also demands Syria make senior officials available for U.N.
investigators and would freeze assets and impose travel bans on anyone
identified as a suspect. The report accused Syria of refusing to cooperate
with his probe.