Construction of buffer wall along international borders has become customary and common issue throughout the world. In order to apply better control of their borders against trafficking and illegal emigrations, as well as human, goods and drug trafficking, terrorist elements, and also to boost their national security and ward off threats emanated from their insufficient border infrastructures that target a neighbor, countries embark on constructing border walls.
However, border walls have also risks on environmental fields
(natural and human
), but the priority of security component has given a heavier weight to countries when it is a matter of selection between two options; promotion of security level and spread of natural risks, and thus to concentrate on their security.
At the moment, there are tens of thousands of kilometers of border walls constructed in different countries of the world, however, 30% to 40% of which were constructed during the World War II. In Europe, about 1000 kilometers of border walls have been constructed since 2015. Now, there are border walls already constructed or planned to be constructed in 77 countries of the world, seven of them are to be completed.
Construction of border walls have also increased in West Asia within the recent years. In addition to Turkey that has initiated to construct a 242 kilometer border wall along its borders with Iran, Iranian government has also adopted a policy to block its borders through construction of obstacles in some border points with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Northern Iraq to imply effective control and optimal management.
Iraqi government recently announced that it planned to construct a reinforced concrete wall along its borders with Syria. General Gheis Al-Mohammadavi, Deputy Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iraqi Army referred to the point that since two years ago very good measures have been taken to provide security of borders, particularly along the border with Syria and Border Control Commander with the supervision of Joint Chiefs of Staff of Army has had great achievements. He stated that:” Iraqi Army plans to construct a border wall along its borders with Syria to provide more effective security despite the existing fortifications”.
The announcement on construction of border wall with Syria was made the day after the visit of Faleh Al-Fayaz, Head of Hash-ol-Shaabi Organization to Syria and his meeting with Bashar Assad and exchange of views on consolidation of efforts to provide security for common borders between the two countries”.
Review of field and security status in Iraq as well as the remarks made by the authorities of the country indicate that among the most important declared objectives to construct a reinforced concrete border wall in parts of Iraqi border with Syria are providing of security and ward off risk of Tekfiri terrorists by blocking the route of terrorist elements trafficking and their remaining from Syria to Iraq. It is remarkable to mention that border areas of Iraq with Syria are considered to be the strategic depth of ISIS terrorists which on the top of operational applications for ISIS within the Iraqi territory, the route is being used to dispatch the equipment and ammunitions for terrorist elements in Iraq too.
Now, Iraq is facing with various problems of political, economic, military and security aspects inside and outside the country. One of the essential challenges in this respect is trafficking of ISIS remaining along the Syrian borders which has even made Iraqi security forces face with threats and major headaches.
Having long borders (650 kilometers) with Syria has caused border and security acute problems and plights for Iraq. As the necessity to prevent arriving of ISIS remaining from Syria to Iraq is the most important variable involved in construction of reinforced concrete wall along the Iraqi border in Al-Anbar province with Syria.
Therefore, although there is no doubt on the necessity to construct the border wall in parts of Iraqi border with Syria, but the very important issue that should not be ignored is that Iraqi government vigilance should not let the border wall become an opportunity for the U.S. to military, security and political utilization in the country and the region.
Within the recent years, the U.S. has always been planning to cut the land and transit links of Syrian, Iraqi as well as Islamic resistance groups forces in the two countries. Border wall can turn to an advantage for the U.S. in order to proceed with the objective. Specially under circumstances that the U.S. military bases at two sides of Iraqi and Syrian borders and their supportive performance to some terrorist groups are considered among the principal factors of critical and de-securitization in the two countries.
Today, an important part of Iraqi security is provided by the presence and participation of resistance groups stationed in the western regions who have intelligence and operational supervision over eastern Syria. Without warding off security risks in Syria and destroying elements, positions and concentration centers of terrorists in the country, it is difficult, and better to say impossible, to achieve stability and security in Iraq.
As the construction of reinforced concrete border wall can be a necessary and indispensable measure to prevent the trafficking of terrorists along Iraqi – Syrian border even in parts of borderlines, new initiatives and setting up mechanisms to preserve land links as well as coordination among Syrian and Iraqi forces and also resistance groups at two sides of the borders are of strategic and vital importance.
Although border obstacles through blocking the route of trafficking groups and terrorist elements can be useful and efficient to promote security and stability level in Iraq, but what help the sustainable Iraqi security to contain terrorism completely in the country in long term are the coordination between Iraqi and Syrian forces as well as unity and relation of Islamic resistance of the two countries that are inter-related from security and field points of view.