World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraqi forces have continued to advance north towards the area lying between the Turkish and Syrian borders.
Troops are reportedly moving toward the area located between the Faysh Khabur border crossing linking northern Iraq’s Kurdish region to Syria and a planned border terminal that will link the same region to Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province.
On Wednesday, Peshmerga officials loyal to northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said the Faysh Khabur crossing remained operational and “under Peshmerga control”.
In mid-October, Iraqi government forces moved into all parts of the country “disputed” between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
Previously, Iraqi forces had been deployed along the Tal Afar-Zummar-Mosul highway roughly 100 kilometers from the site of Turkey’s planned Ovakoy border terminal.
Iraqi forces, however, have since redeployed to the town of Zummar west of the Tigris River, reducing their distance from Ovakoy to about 40 kilometers.
Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Wednesday that the planned Ovakoy border terminal would serve as “an alternate route” that would enhance Turkish trade activity with Iraq.
Earlier this week, Iraqi forces assumed control of the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing linking Turkey with northern Iraq.
In a statement, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said the federal government would also soon assume control over all the country’s border crossings with neighboring Syria.
Located on the Tigris River, the Faysh Khabur crossing has remained under the control of the KRG since 1991.
Tension has mounted steadily between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when the latter held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.Last Mod: 02 Kasım 2017, 16:22