Strict procedures for Syrians to cross into Iraqi Kurdistan




ARA News

Urfa, Turkey− The administration of Simalka border crossing −subordinated to the PYD-led self-rule government in the northeastern region in Syria− issued a circular to the health boards in the northeastern areas requiring them to attest medical reports of patients who would like to visit Iraqi Kurdistan for treatment. 

The Simalka crossing at the Syrian borders with the Kurdistan Region was the gate for thousands of Syrian Kurds to escape the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in their areas and resort to the Iraqi Kurdistan. 

The border crossing is currently under the control of the Assayish forces −security wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)− at the Syrian side. The administration of the crossing was recently established in coordination with the PYD and under the supervision of the Assayish forces to ensure strict control over the Simalka crossing. 

With the growing barriers imposed on Syrians who intend to cross the borders into Iraqi Kurdistan, many insist that they need to enter Kurdistan for medical treatment. 

The Simalka administration’s circular talked about the increased number of people who intend to emigrate to Iraqi Kurdistan claiming ailment “by showing false medical documents” and which urged the administration of the border crossing to determine the conditions for passage allowance. 

As for the passage conditions, the circular read: “The medical report must be issued by a health board with an official paper and with the names of the health committee members mentioned on it, identification of the patient and the name of the doctor must also be annexed to it. The patient may only have one attendant and it has to be a first grade relative”, noting at the same time that the members of the health committee are in direct responsibility about the authenticity of the medical reports before the judicial authorities and that starting from Feb.1, 2014 the administration of Simalka border crossing will not allow any patient who doesn’t possess a medical report to cross.  

As for the non-patients who would like to enter Iraqi Kurdistan, the circular determined: “Anyone who has a legal case in Iraqi Kurdistan may cross, in addition to students and Iraqi Kurdistan citizens”, and as for family reunions, “the head of the family must have a work and residence permit in Iraqi Kurdistan”.

Marwan Eidi, former head of the Kurdish National Council’s (KNC) local committee in the city of Amude, told ARA News that the KNC members were excluded from the participation in the Simalka crossing’s administration.

“Simalka administration is limited to a certain political group (in reference to the PYD and allied organizations) and the KNC was unfortunately marginalized with regard to the crossing and the passage procedures,” Eidi said. 

According to official reports issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), more than 230,000 Syrian Kurds have entered the Kurdistan Region, and the majority received shelter and humanitarian aid by the KRG.  


Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News


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