ISIS kills 16 Iraqi border guards near Syria

A member of the Iraqi security forces mans a gun during an intensive security deployment after taking control of Saadiya in Diyala province from ISIS militants, November 24, 2014.

A member of the Iraqi security forces mans a gun during an intensive security deployment after taking control of Saadiya in Diyala province from ISIS militants, November 24, 2014.

At least 16 Iraqi border guards were killed Monday in a dawn assault by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants at their post close to the Syrian frontier, provincial and security officials said.

“Sixteen border guards, including a captain, were killed and four wounded in an attack targeting their headquarters in Al-Walid, near the Syrian border,” Faleh al-Issawi, deputy head of Anbar provincial council, told Agence France-Presse.

Issawi said the attack occurred at around 6:00 am.

A commander in the Iraqi border force and a police major confirmed the death toll.

The al-Walid crossing is one of the country’s most remote outposts and lies near the westernmost point in Anbar province where the borders of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet.

The United States, which occupied the country for eight years, has spent billions of dollars training and equipping Iraq’s military.

Yet Iraq’s army – at its peak around 400,000 strong – has struggled to fight back against ISIS militants who took Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul in June.

The army is also mired in graft, patronage, and corruption, senior government figures and analysts claim. On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said an investigation had found a list of “ghost soldiers” in the Iraqi military and vowed to widen a crackdown on graft.

Also on Monday the United Nations says that more than 1,200 Iraqis were killed in November by acts of terrorism and violence, according to the Associated Press.

 
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