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Local Iraqi forces keep eye on border as life resumes

As the Syrian Democratic Forces pull out of positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border and civilians return to the nearby town of Qaim, several remaining security forces are coordinating to maintain the peace.
An Iraqi security forces member holds a position as they advance towards the Salaheddine province in the western desert bordering Syria, on November 26, 2017, in a bid to flush out remaining Islamic State (IS) group fighters in the al-Jazeera region.
Iraqi forces thrust north from the Euphrates Valley into the desert a day earlier, opening up a new front in the drive to flush out fugitive Islamic State group fighters, a commander told AFP. / AFP PHOTO / Mahmud SALEH        (Photo credit should read MAHMUD S

QAIM, Iraq — Though no major attacks have occurred in months in the border town of Qaim, which was retaken from the Islamic State (IS) in early November 2017, there have been several reports of the militant group's vehicles and fighters entering Iraq through the country’s porous western desert border with Syria.

In a Feb. 14 interview at the Husaybeh border crossing, Lt. Col. Aqeel Adnan from the Iraqi Army’s 8th Division told Al-Monitor that some IS fighters are still across the border in Soussa and Hejin, but they are confined to an area of some 60-70 square kilometers (23-27 square miles).

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