Militants in Syria load an anti-aircraft machine gun on an armored vehicle. (File photo)
Iraqi security forces have thwarted an attempt by a group of militants to smuggle weapons into neighboring Syria.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Iraq’s Interior Ministry spokesman General Saad Ma’an said the smuggling attempt was frustrated in a nine-hour-long battle between gunmen and Iraqi security forces, Iraqi media reported.
Ma’an added that the munitions had been concealed in eight vehicles, two of which were destroyed during the heavy skirmishes that started on Friday night and ended on Saturday morning.
The Iraqi official, however, did not provide any information about the location of the clashes, and the final destination of weapons in Syria.
Iraqi military patrols have beefed up their presence along the Syrian border in an attempt to prevent the flow of weapons or terrorists into Syria, which has been experiencing unrest for nearly two years.
Many people, including large numbers of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the turmoil. There are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting against the Syrian government are foreign nationals.