Iraqi Kurdistan says border crossings still under its full control

Kurdish citizen raising flag of the Kurdistan Region.

Baghdad ( Iraqi Kurdistan Region has said it maintains full control over its border crossings, months after Baghdad demanded the handover of those crossings to federal forces.

Samal Abdul-Rahman, Kurdistan’s general director of customs, told Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat that Kurdistan’s main five border crossings remain under the control of the region’s authorities, noting that Baghdad had not sent its observers to partake in the management of those crossings as agreed.

He revealed that revenues from operations at those crossings still go to the region’s government despite progress made in negotiations for the joint administration of those facilities. He explained that the agreement has not yet gone into action waiting for  the broader political deal between Erbil and Baghdad.

Three of the five crossings in Kurdistan fall on the borders with Iran, one with Syria and one with Turkey.

Relations between Baghdad and Erbil deteriorated following a referendum the latter held in September, in which a majority voted for independence from Iraq, a move Baghdad deemed illegal.

In response to the poll, the federal government took over territories disputed with Kurdistan, and imposed a flight embargo on the autonomous region and asked to hand over management over its borders with Turkey, Iran and Syria.

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