Syria has increased military posts and patrols along its border with Iraq and stopped thousands of infiltrators entering into the war-torn country, a top military officer said Friday.
The Syrian officer's comments came during a rare government-orchestrated media tour along the 600 kilometer (370 mile) border that appeared aimed at deflecting US-led criticism that Damascus doing to little to stop militants entering Iraq.
Syrian forces have increased their border outposts to 557 from 547 since June, with each position having eight to 10 soldiers, said the officer who identified himself only Brig. Gen. Amin.
Syria has also caught 1,400 infiltrators from "Arab, Islamic and other identities" and most have been returned to their countries, he said.
"Thousands" more Syrians have been stopped entering or leaving Iraq illegally, while 2,500 Iraqis have been returned to Iraq after committing crimes in Syria.