- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

At least 40 Syrian soldiers have been killed in an ambush in Iraq, as the months-long conflict between rebel fighters and President Bashar Assad’s forces have finally spilled across the border.

The Syrian soldiers crossed the border into Iraq to take refuge, the Japan Times reports. They were ambushed and killed by gunfire, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, with various media estimating death counts between 40 and 48.

The presence of the soldiers on Iraqi land suggests the Baghdad government is quietly supporting Mr. Assad’s struggle to maintain control, experts suggest.

The soldiers were apparently ambushed by an al Qaeda force in Iraq, the Japan Times says. And that suggests al Qaeda is actively aiding rebels to oust Mr. Assad, the report adds.

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