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Iraq braces for Syria fallout

Refugees are already crossing the border and Iraqi security forces are contingency planning for a revived Islamic State insurgency.
Refugees arrive from Syria at a refugee camp in Bardarash on Oct. 16, 2019. (SAMYA KULLAB/Iraq Oil Report)

BARDARASH - In the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. military's withdrawal from northern Syria, Iraqi leaders are bracing for an influx of refugees and scrambling to prevent a resurgence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group.

“There is a security plan, which the Defense Ministry is implementing jointly with other service ministries, to prepare for any emergency, such as waves of displacement,” said a senior officer in the Jazeera and Badiya Operations Command, which is responsible for security along the Iraq-Syria border. "As for the IS militants who might sneak in with other families and civilians, we have full information and databases. Thousands of IS militant names are listed…. I can say we are prepared for IS attempts to sneak in as refugees."

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