US welcomes opening of border between Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan

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Syrian Kurdish fighters observing Semalka crossing on the Syrian side of the border. File photo

ARA News 

KOBANE – The US anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk on Thursday welcomed the opening of the Semalka border crossing between Syria’s Kurdish region [Rojava] and Iraqi Kurdistan. 

“[We] welcome the opening of the border between the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and northern Syria for badly needed humanitarian trade and commerce,” the US envoy said.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Kurdistan’s authorities decided to reopen the Semalka crossing with Syrian Kurdish region. after three months of border closure, caused by political differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria.

The KDP-led Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) accused the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of monopolizing the revenues of the border gate, and refusing to share power with the rival Syrian Kurdish bloc, the Kurdish National Council (KNC).

On the other hand, the PYD blamed Turkey for pressuring Iraqi Kurdistan’s government led by president Masoud Barzani to close to border, after they declared the preparations for establishing a federal region for northern Syria and Rojava on 17 March.

The border closure and tensions between the Kurdish parties affect the lives of ordinary Syrian Kurdish citizens, and raised the prices and resulted in a lack of vegetables, medicines, and spare parts for reparation of vehicles and machines.

McGurk’s statement might indicate that the US-led coalition was involved in trying to solve the differences between the local self-administration in the Kurdish areas of Syria, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

“Yes, I think so,” member of the Kurdish Unity Party Majdal Delli told ARA News. “The border is now open because of US pressure,” he added. “I think it was one of the conditions of PYD to continue their war in Manbij and Raqqa.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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