BAGHDAD: Iraq's Shi'ite paramilitary
groups have deployed to the border to back up border guard forces who came under fire from within
Syria over the past three days, one of their commanders said on
"After several Iraqi border guard positions came under several
attacks by missiles, and backup from security forces was late, the 13th brigade of the Popular
Mobilisation Forces (PMF) was deployed and targeted the origins of the launch," PMF commander for
west Anbar, Qassem Mesleh, said in a statement.
"Operations command and the
infantry brigade are now present on the Iraqi-Syrian border in border guard positions to repel any
attack or movement by the enemy. This area is not within the PMF's remit but it is our duty to back
up all security forces."
The PMF is an umbrella grouping of mostly
Iran-backed and trained Shi'ite militias that formally report to Iraq's prime minister but are
separate from the military and police.