Dozens of Syrian troops killed in Iraq ambush
Al-Jazeera, Mar 4 2013
Armed men from Syria have carried out an ambush in western Iraq, killing 48 unarmed Syrian soldiers and 9 Iraqi guards, the Iraqi defence ministry said. The Iraqi officials said some 65 Syrian soldiers and government employees had handed themselves over to Iraq on Friday after anti-government rebels seized the Syrian side of the Ya-Arabiya frontier crossing. Opposition fighters seized control of half of the Syrian border town of Yaarabiya, including the crossing with Iraq. PM Maliki’s spokesman said:
This incident confirms our fears of the attempt of some to move the conflict to Iraq, but we will face these attempts by all sides with all of our power.
The Iraqi defense ministry said that the ambush was carried out by a terrorist group that infiltrated into Iraqi territory from Syria. It said that the Syrian soldiers were wounded in the fighting at Ya-Arabiya and had fled to Iraq for medical treatment. They were being taken to al-Walid border crossing to be returned to Syria through official channels, but they were ambushed on the way in what the ministry termed an attack against the sovereignty of Iraq, its land, and its dignity, and a clear violation of human rights, as they were wounded and unarmed.