Saturday, August 8, 2020


DAMASCUS, Reopening of the Iraqi-Syrian border crossings becomes imminent as it is not only important on the political and economic levels but also on the humanitarian level, visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said here on Monday.

His remarks came during a press conference with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in Damascus, during which he stressed that reopening of the border crossings is so important for both countries.

Al-Jaafari said there is no reason not to open the border crossings between both countries, saying efforts are being exerted to reopen them as soon as possible.

For his part, Muallem said that the terror groups were controlling the crossings, accusing the countries backing them of standing against the opening of the crossings.

He also noted that the borders will be opened soon, saying that “we hope that the crossing between the Syrian city of Abu Kamal and Iraq would be reopened soon.”

Both ministers did not say when the crossings will be reopened but said it should not take long.

Expectations for reopening the border points came as the Syrian army has cleared large swaths of border areas between Syria and Iraq from the presence of the Islamic State (IS).

In July, the Iraqi forces worked to enhance the security situation on the border with Syria, installing cameras and flying drones to ensure the security against any threat from IS.

Earlier in October, the Iraqi security forces said that the Iraqi army has strengthened control of the country’s border with Syria to prevent infiltration attempts by terrorists.

Both countries have suffered from the presence of the IS militants in the border region. Given that the two countries have fought IS and secured the border points, the situation seems ripe for reopening the border crossings.

However, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and allied Kurdish-led groups still control border areas in northeastern Syria with Iraq.

The U.S. forces are also present at the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria where a major border crossing between Syria and Iraq is located.

The border crossing that would be reopened is the al-Qa’im which is located in the southeast of Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour in the city of Abu Kamal.

Al-Qa’im crossing is considered as one of the major supply routes across the Middle East, which connects the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir al-Zour to the city of Husaybah in the Al-Qa’im District of Iraq’s Anbar Governorate.