Syria displays new security measures in organized tour along Iraqi border

Syria showed off new security measures on its long and porous border with Iraq during an organized tour for foreign diplomats, military attaches and journalists on Saturday. Twenty-nine diplomats, including the US military attaché, were allowed on the rare inspection of Syria's side of the Tanaf border crossing, about 300 kilometers (187 miles) northeast of the capital, Damascus. They were then driven for some 200 kilometers (miles) along the border marked by police outposts and tall sand barriers. Authorities have increased the number of outposts to one every 400 meters in some zones along the 570 kilometer (354 miles) border, a Syrian officer said, stating each outpost was staffed with half-dozen soldiers. The United States and some Iraqi officials accuse Syria of not doing enough to stop foreign fighters from crossing into Iraq. Syria says it has taken all necessary measures but that it is impossible to fully control the sprawling desert along the border.