Syrian Kurdistan, Iraq border post officially opened

      February 19, 2014 – Firat News – QAMISHLI, Syrian Kurdistan,— The border post at Tel Koçer (Yaarubia) between Syrian (West) Kurdistan and Iraq has been officially opened following talks with the Iraqi government.

Spokesperson for the Jazeera [Cizîre] Canton administration, Juan Muhammad, announced that agreement had been reached with the Iraqi government. According to this agreement, the first between West Kurdistan and a neighbour, priority will be given to the movement of daily necessities through the border crossing. Representatives of the Jazeera Canton administration went to Federal Kurdistan on 12 February and from there to Baghdad. All the major parties in South Kurdistan, apart from Massoud Barzani’s KDP, recognise the democratic autonomous administrations set up in the three cantons, Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin, of West Kurdistan in January this year.

The Tel Koçer (Yaarubia) border crossing was seized by Kurdish YPG forces from Al Qaeda Islamic groups in ‘revolutionary operations’ launched on 23 October 2013. The Al Qaeda affiliated groups had used the border crossing, which is near Mosul, as a major base for attacks and for the passage of fighters and weaponry. YPG forces took over control of 5 cities in 2013, including the border town of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ayn), six small towns and more than 120 villages. Last year YPG forces lost 379 fighters in clashes, while at least 376 Syrian troops and 2,923 Al Qaeda fighters were killed.