Iraqi-Syrian borders, Kurds’ growing concerns




ARA News

The Kurdish areas in Syria sees a considerably difficult economic situation due to a “siege” imposed by several parties; regime and its forces, Islamist Jabhat al-Nusrah forces, and the Turkish authorities on the one hand, and the Kurdish armed groups themselves on the other hand. Every party tries to justify its siege against the Kurdish areas.

But what cannot be understood until now is that all those parties are carrying out similar practices against Syrian Kurds, as if all forces contributing in the siege around the Kurdish regions have the same leadership.

The al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) prevents the arrival of any humanitarian aid to these areas under the pretext of the cooperation between the Syrian regime and the Kurdish forces linked to the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The Turks on the other hand seem reluctant to take any steps to provide any aid to Syria’s Kurdish areas, expressing its worries of a potential domination by the PYD −affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

However, the worst thing in this regard is the PYD’s decision to close the Simalka crossing area at the borders with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As the PYD’s armed forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) took over the Simalka bordering area, they tried to control any movement near Simalka and started closing it from time to time. The YPG −receiving orders from the PYD− opens the Syrian-Iraqi border to allow Syrian Kurds to leave to Iraqi Kurdistan, especially people who want to resort to the Kurdistan Region without intention to return home, or the injured people in need for medical treatment. 

We will not go through the story of opening and closing the crossing check-point, but we will let the future reveal the truth behind this game and at the same time we will see the extent of humiliation affected the Syrian Kurdish youth in the region, those who closely observe what is happening, and through their stories we may get closer to the reality of this issue.

The first was story is of a Syrian professor returned from exile in France to his ‘homeland’ to put his experiences in the service of his people in the Syrian universities, but he was shocked with this bloody conflict and the decline of education shares in front of the increased war shares. He reached Duhuk  province in northern Iraq, then it was enough for him to hear about Simalka and what is going on in the region, he knew that he will not be able to return home. Consequently, he decided to go back to his work in France.

Another story concerning the problem with smugglers between Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria was revealed by a young man −preferred to stay anonymous as the rest we met there− living abroad. Talking to ARA News, he described the difficulty he faced until reaching the Kurdistan Region, with intention to enter Syria’s Qamishlo/Qamishli, despite the difficulties of lacking water and electricity there. However, when he wanted to return after visiting Qamishli he encountered many barriers, the main one was the drivers in Dumiz Camp for Syrian refugees. “A systematic robbery occurs when you try to cross the checkpoints of the YPG until crossing the borders to Iraqi Kurdistan,” he said. “They determine a price to be paid in every ‘security’ barrier. If you want to travel without registering your name and keeping your residency you have to pay 200 dollar with walking for a long distance, whereas if you want to travel legally the price is 100 dollar, without any guarantee to cross the border safely.”

Sources working on the borders told ARA News that both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials and the Syrian Kurdish forces hold talks currently to looking into the possibility of opening four new crossing-points at the borders, extend from the city of Tel Kojer (al-Yarubia) to the Syrian village Tawoos, and these crossing-points are meant to deliver humanitarian aid to Kurdish cities in Syria and allow people to enter Iraqi Kurdistan.

A main question raised by observers is whether the KRG will remain silent towards the violations committed at its borders with Syria, or it is merely a way to reduce the burden of the increasing numbers of Syrian Kurdish refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan. Activists insist that closing a strategic and important crossing-point like Simalka is remarkably in the interest of some political leaders in Syria.


Report by: Akhtin Asaad

Source: ARA News


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