Turkey, Middle East

Baghdad takes over control of border gate with Turkey

Northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government hands over control of main border gate with Turkey to Iraq's central government

31.10.2017
Baghdad takes over control of border gate with Turkey

ANKARA

Control of the Ibrahim Khalil border gate between Turkey and northern Iraq has been handed over to Baghdad, Turkey's prime minister announced on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group meeting, Binali Yildirim said Turkish officials will remain in control of the Habur border gate on the Turkish side of the border, while from now on the Ibrahim Khalil gate on the Iraqi side will be in the control of Iraqi authorities.

Northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) handed over control to Iraqi forces following a Turkish-Iraqi joint military deployment to the border crossing earlier in the day.  

The Ibrahim Khalil border gate, also known as the Habur crossing on the Turkish side, is the main crossing between Turkey and Iraq.

Iraqi chief of staff hails joint exercise with Turkey

As a military exercise involving Turkish and Iraqi troops continues along Turkey’s eastern borders, Iraq’s senior officer has praised Ankara for helping train his soldiers.

The Turkish Second Army Command commander welcomed Iraqi Chief of Staff Iraqi Chief of Staff Gen. Othman al-Ghanimi at the Habur border gate on Tuesday.

This came after control of the crossing -- also known as the Ibrahim Khalil border gate -- between Turkey and northern Iraq was handed over to Baghdad.

Turkish Lieutenant Gen. Ismail Metin Temel (L) and Ghanimi (R) exchanged views on the military exercise which started Sept. 18.

Early on Tuesday, troops of both Turkey and Iraq, who have been holding a joint military drill in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak since mid-September, advanced towards the border crossing.

The Iraqi central government has sought to take control of the gate, which has been under the control of the KRG forces, since an illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence on Sept. 25. 

The referendum was broadly opposed by the international community, including Turkey, as well as Baghdad, which pointed out that the poll was unconstitutional.

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