(BAGHDAD) — A top Iraqi official said Thursday that Syrian rebels are now in control of all border crossings between his country and Syria.
Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said this action did not occur without violence and might force the closing of the entire border with Syria.
According to al-Assadi, Iraqi troops watched as the Free Syrian Army allegedly killed 22 government soldiers and cut off the arms and legs of a lieutenant colonel at one outpost.
The official said that it appears now that the rebels are preparing for a full-on assault of Damascus to overthrow the President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Meanwhile, Iraqi expatriates, who left their country during the height of their war, are returning to Iraq in droves to flee the escalating violence.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
Juliet Perry, Tim Hume and Livia Borghese, CNN