Pesh Khabor bridge, Semalka border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan. Photo: CNN

Published by Ekurd 8 June 2016

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— After three months of border closure Iraqi Kurdistan has reopened the Semalka border crossing with Syrian Kurdistan [Rojava] on Tuesday in order to allow humanitarian goods, medicine, and food to cross the border.

The border closure caused by political differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian Kurdistan. The border was closed on March 16, 2016.

The move comes after Lahur Sheikh Jangi Talabani, director of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, said it was the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government KRG’s “moral duty” to reopen the border, following a visit to Kobani

During a press conference in Kobani, Talabani demanded the KRG open the Semalka border crossing to allow for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Kurdish controlled areas in Syria, in particular to Kobani.

“People of Kobane have suffered enough. #KRG needs to open the border to allow further provisions such as medicine and milk for children,” Talabani posted on his Twitter account.

Talabani was in Kobani meeting with leaders of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He also attended the funeral of Abu Layla, YPG commander who died in an offensive to retake Manbij.


Lahur Sheikh Jangi Talabani, director of Iraqi Kurdistan intelligence in Kobani, Syrian Kurdistan, June 7, 2016 Photo: NRT

Hamid Darbandi, who handles Rojava affairs for Iraqi Kurdistan’s presidency, told Rudaw on Tuesday that “Officials in the border have been informed to open the gate to transfer medicine, foods and humanitarian needs,”

Darbandi also explained that the transported goods will be cheap and tax-free in order to help Kurdish citizens of Rojava, insisting that neither Iraqi Kurdistan nor Syrian Kurdistan officials have the right to receive tax from the trade.

Most political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan recognize the Syrian Kurdistan autonomous cantons except the Iraqi KDP led by Massoud Barzani doesn’t recognize the Syrian Kurdish government. Political experts say Massoud Barzani, sees Syrian Kurdistan as potential political competition.

Syria’s Kurds on March 17, 2016 declared a federal region in Syrian Kurdistan.