Saudi Arabia Sends 30,000 Troops to Iraqi Border to Reinforce Fence
Saudi Arabia extended its border fence with Yemen in 2013. (Nuqudy)
2,500 Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts along the border with Saudi Arabia this week.
The Saudis deployed 30,000 troops to its border.
Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said Saudi Arabia had deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq on Thursday after Iraqi forces abandoned the area, but Baghdad denied pulling forces back and said it remained in full control of its frontier.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, shares an 800-km (500-mile) desert border with Iraq, where Islamic State insurgents and other Sunni Muslim militant groups seized towns and cities in a lightning advance last month.
The U.S.-allied kingdom overcame its own al Qaeda insurgency almost a decade ago and is wary of any new threat from radical Sunni Islamists.
The Dubai-based al-Arabiya said on its website that Saudi troops had fanned out into the border region after Iraqi government forces withdrew from their positions, leaving the Saudi and Syrian frontiers exposed.
It aired a video which, it said, showed some 2,500 Iraqi soldiers in the desert region east of the Iraqi city of Kerbala after pulling back from the border, which is reinforced on the Saudi side by a system of fences. An officer in the video said that the soldiers had been ordered to quit their posts without justification. The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be verified.
Obviously, the Saudis take border security more seriously than Barack Obama does.