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Rojava closes Semalka border crossing with Kurdistan Region

  2021-06-23  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Trucks loaded with goods coming from Syria are seen at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fish Khabur (Semalka), Iraq, Oct. 31, 2017. Photo by Ari Jalal/ Reuters
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES) closed down the Semalka border crossing with the Kurdistan Region citing technical problems amid rows between both Kurdish authorities.

The humanitarian organizations and their belongings are excluded from the decision, AANES-affiliated Semlaka Border Crossing said in a statement.

Zhyan News Network reporter Mehvan Mecid said that the AANES authorities lifted the ban from the afternoon on.

On Tuesday, the AANES, also known as Rojava, condemned the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for taking “actions” and “decisions” to tighten the noose on travelers from the AANES who want to enter the Kurdistan Region through the only border point between both sides.

The KDP is the main component of the KRG that is in charge of the border crossing, known as Fishkhabur, in the Kurdistan Region.

The Syrian Kurdish authority said in a statement that the new restrictions are “contrary to morals and good neighborliness, and from these decisions and actions.”

The passengers coming from Rojava should fill out a form containing all the passengers’ information and should wait 48 hours in order to obtain approval to enter the Kurdistan Region, the Smelka border crossing said. 

It is a “purely intelligence form,” the Rojava authorities said, claiming the approvals could take more than four days. 

“A lot of travelers have special cases to enter quickly, such as cancer patients who receive their treatment in the region, brides who have interviews in foreign embassies, and travelers coming from distant regions such as Kobani and al-Shahba, who are forced to stay in Qamishlo awaiting approval for their entry to the region.”

The AANES authority called on the KRG officials to intervene and put an end to the practice that are “impossible against the citizens, which are considered inhumane and irresponsible decisions.”

Tensions between the AANES run by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the KDP have been high since the latter arrested three AANES and PYD officials and the latter closed down a KDP-affiliated TV channel in Rojava.

On Tuesday, the AANES office in the Region called on the authorities to pressure on the KDP to release the three members.
 (Zhyan English) 

This story was updated at 5:55 PM