Iraqi Military Forces with Aircraft Reinforcements Carry Out Large-Scale Search Operation to Look For the Perpetrators of the Attack in Akashat
Sumaria News: Anbar.
Translated from Arabic by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi:
A military source in the leadership of the province of Anbar announced on Monday that the Iraqi Army's Special Forces with aircraft reinforcements are carrying out a large-scale search operation in the west of Anbar to look for the armed men who targeted a convoy that was carrying Syrian soldiers in the area of Akashat.
The source said in an interview with 'Sumaria News' that 'Special Forces attached to the Iraqi Army with air support have begun a military operation in the area of Akashat, west Anbar, in search of the perpetrators of the attack on the Iraqi Army convoy which was carrying Syrian soldiers.'
The source, who requested that his name be kept anonymous, added: 'The forces have spread out in the surrounding area between the termination of Rutbah [translator's note- city in Anbar] and the termination of Qa'im [translator's note- another city in Anbar, right on the Syrian border] at a distance of 65 km.' He continued: 'The forces that were with the convoy that was attacked were able to kill and wound a number of the armed men who attacked the convoy.'
And a source in the Anbar police affirmed on Monday today that 33 Syrian soldiers and 7 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the ambush that was the work of the armed men, near the Iraq-Syria borders in the area of Akashat in the west of Anbar, affirming that the Syrian soldiers had fled to Iraq two days ago from the passageway of Yu'arbiyah [translator's note: in the northeast of Syria], and the Iraqi army wanted to return them to Syria via the passageway of Qa'im.
Translator's comments: Of the various Iraqi Arabic-media outlets, Sumaria News is one of the more reliable ones out there even as it has a pro-government slant.
The attack on the convoy was likely the work of al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI), which is linked with Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN). That a large-scale search operation should be launched in response hardly comes as a surprise, given PM Maliki's concerns about 'spillover' from Syria in the event of Assad's downfall that he fears will re-ignite all-out sectarian warfare in Iraq.
I myself do not agree with such a pessimistic outlook of a return to civil war, but AQI-JAN coordination of operations, together with Sunni Arab discontent in the protests in Anbar, is likely to lead to an overall upsurge in violence in Iraq this year in providing a better environment for militants to operate in.