Iraq reopened border crossings with Iran on Sunday after a three-day closure that coincided with the launch of a major security push in Baghdad.
The key Shalamcha border point, about 70 kilometers (35 miles) east of the southern city of Basra, was cleared of blockades along with others along the long frontier with Iran, said the director of border operations, Brig. Gen. Rahdi Karim al-Makiki. Washington and allies claim Iraqi militants receive aid and supplies from Iran, including parts for lethal roadside bombs targeting U.S. forces. Iran denies any role in trafficking weapons.
The Iranian and Syrian borders were closed as the security operation got under way in Baghdad. A spokesman for the plan, Brig. Gen. Qassim Moussawi was quoted in the Azzaman newspaper that the borders would be reopened gradually but remain under "intense observations."