Official: Iraqi forces seize border crossing with Syria after PKK pullout

Iraqi soldiers gather to go battle against Islamic State militants south of Mosul, Iraq, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Nineveh ( Iraqi government forces took over a border crossing with Syria on Wednesday as they seek to impose control over border posts held by Kurdish forces.

Bonian al-Jarba, a member of the Nineveh province council, told Alsumaria News that “Iraqi forces tightened their control over the Rabia border crossing with Syria after the withdrawal of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He said the takeover came as forces had previously deployed in Rabia region.

Iraqi government forces took over Kurdish-held regions in Diyala and Nineveh as per an operation carried out to implement directives by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who ordered to “impose security” at territories disputed on with Kurdistan Region. The operation came as a response to a referendum Kurdistan Region ran in September and came in favor of secession from Iraq.

Earlier this month, Iraqi forces took over government facilities and main oil fields in Kirkuk as part of the operation. Sporadic clashes were reported between Iraqi troops and Popular Mobilization Forces on one side, and Kurdish Peshmerga troops on the other side.

Kurdistan Region government offered earlier on Wednesday to impose a ceasefire and resort to dialogue to defuse the military and political standoff with Baghdad. The Iraqi government has yet to respond to the offer.


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