Border crossing between KRG and AANES closed

Border crossing between KRG and AANES closed
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The closing of the crossing at Semalka may lead to higher food and commodity prices in northeast Syria.

The border crossing between Iraqi Kurdistan and a Syrian territory that is under the control of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) was closed, Rudaw reported on Sunday.

May 20 was the deadline for crossings at the Semalka bridge near the Syria-Iraq-Turkey border trijunction. The crossings were restarted in early 2021 for trade purposes after an interval of 40 days, possibly due to US mediation between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and AANES.

Home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people, northeast Syria, or Rojava, has depended on the Semalka crossing for aid deliveries since the breakout of civil war in Syria.

The border that was closed by the KRG due to political rifts with the AANES, was earlier opened in 2016 to allow delivery of humanitarian items, medicine, and food.

The closing of the border crossing means that essential daily items, particularly food, will likely become more expensive in northeast Syria.

Turkey is hostile against the AANES, which according to Turkish officials have links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while Turkey and KRG enjoy friendly relations politically and economically. The administration of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) also provides support for the Turkish military in its campaigns targeting PKK fighters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).