Kirkuk - The Iraqi government closed a border crossing
with Syria and sent in military reinforcements after cross-border fire killed
an Iraqi soldier, the defence ministry's spokesperson said on Thursday.
Mohammed al-Askari told AFP that the Yaarubiyeh crossing
between eastern Syrian and the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, near where
Syrian regime forces and rebels battled on Saturday, had been closed.
"Reinforcements were sent after... battles near the
border post," Askari said, adding that the area was also under aerial
An Iraqi soldier was killed and three people including a
soldier were wounded inside Iraqi territory on Saturday during clashes on the
Syrian side of the border, Askari said.
Two days later, 48 Syrian soldiers who crossed into north
Iraq for medical treatment were killed in an ambush in Iraq's western Anbar
province, as they were being returned to Syria.
Nine Iraqi guards also died in the attack, the defence
Baghdad has pointedly avoided calling for the departure
of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is locked in a bloody civil war with
rebels opposed to his regime. It has instead urged an end to violence by all