The most important border crossing between Iraqi Kurdistan and northeastern Syria has been closed for several days. The closure of the border gate is expected to damage the economic relations between the two sides, as well as negatively affect the lives of civilians.
The border administration under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) unilaterally closed the Sêmalka Border Gate between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) on 11 May. Officials from the autonomous administration said they had not been informed as to why the crossing had been closed.
The Sêmalka Border Crossing currently caters to approximately 60 percent of the food and commodities entering North and East Syria.
“We believe that this decision is ‘incorrect’, especially in the absence of any clarifications for us and for public opinion, as well as the frequent use of this humanitarian crossing for political ends and provocation of our regions and people,” the AANES said recently in a statement regarding the closure.
“We hope that the language of reason prevails in this file and that the crossing does not turn into a tool of provocation. Such moody decisions would serve parties looking for all means to undermine our people and their gains,” the AANES continued.
No announcement has been made on when the gate will reopen.
The KDP had also unilaterally closed the gate for 40 days at the end of 2021.