The United States has deployed 20,000 troops along the
Syrian border after Syria failed to stop militants from crossing into Iraq.
As late as October, U.S. officials said hundreds of Islamic insurgents
were crossing into Iraqi from Syria. They said Syrian authorities had failed
to respond to U.S. appeals to stop the flow of insurgents.
U.S. military officials said the U.S. troop presence was bolstered beginning in
September and has resulted in a significant drop in infiltration from Syria.
The U.S. troops are based in the Iraqi province of Anbar, Middle East Newsline reported.
Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said
the military completed a 200 percent increase in U.S. troops at Anbar. Swannack told a briefing in Baghdad on Tuesday that the increased
deployment was also meant to stop infiltration from other Iraqi neighbors,
such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
But the U.S. presence has not halted the flow of insurgents from
Syria. On Monday, the U.S. military said six suspected insurgents were
captured near the Syrian border. One of them was later killed when he tried
to attack a guard.
Swannack said the U.S. troop presence in Anbar has resulted in
reducing the flow of insurgents from Syria. He said Islamic insurgents have
launched attacks against the U.S. force near the 500-kilometer Syrian
border. But he called the attacks ineffective.
"We are not fighting foreign fighters coming across the border in
significant numbers," Swannack said. "We are fighting mostly former regime