Al Waleed border crossing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 33°26′00″N 38°56′15″E / 33.4332°N 38.9374°E / 33.4332; 38.9374

Al Waleed border crossing
نقطة الوليد الحدودية العراقية
Carries Pedestrians, vehicles, containers
Locale Syria Al-Tanf, Syria
Iraq Al Waleed, Iraq
Official name Al Waleed border crossing
Maintained by  Iraq
Iraq Syria Locator.svg

Al Waleed border crossing (Arabic: نقطة الوليد الحدودية العراقية‎‎, also spelled al-Walid), known in Syria as al-Tanf is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq.[1] Al Waleed is located in the Ar-Rutba District of the Al Anbar Governorate, close to the westernmost point of Iraq and the northeasternmost point of Jordan, in the desert Badia region. It serves as the main border checkpoint on the highway between Damascus and Baghdad. The al-Tanf checkpoint is on the Syrian side of the border, in Homs province. The Al-Waleed Palestinian refugee camp is nearby.

Syrian Civil War[edit]

In May 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants captured the checkpoint, thus obtaining control over the full length of the Iraq-Syria border. In early August 2016, the Iraqi checkpoint was recaptured by pro-government Iraqi tribal militias backed by the U.S.-led forces.[2][3] In August 2016, the BBC published photographs taken in June that year,[4] which it said showed British special forces soldiers apparently guarding the perimeter of the New Syrian Army's base, at al-Tanf in Syria's Homs province.

In March 2017, U.S.-backed Maghawir a-Thawra rebels re-opened the border point, resuming cross-border civilian traffic; a group referred to as Jaish al-Ashair al-Iraqi was said to control the Iraqi side of the crossing.[5] In April 2017, the U.S. "special forces" outpost at Al-Tanf was reported to be engaged in combat.[6][7] On 18 May 2017, U.S.-led coalition fighter jets struck a convoy of pro-Syrian government forces advancing towards the Tanf base, where U.S. military operated and trained anti-government rebels.[8][9] Shortly thereafter, the Syrian forces were reported to continue their advance in a direction that suggested that their intent might be to outflank and isolate the U.S./rebel base at Al-Tanf;[10] the government forces appeared to use advanced Russia-made arms and were supported by Russian helicopters, a report acknowledged on May 26 by the Russian Defence ministry′s media outlet.[11]

On 17 June 2017, the Iraqi military announced that the Iraqi army and Sunni tribal fighters, supported by U.S.-led coalition aircraft, had dislodged ISIL from the al-Waleed border crossing.[12]