Middle East

PKK/YPG terror group closes N.Iraq-Syria border gate to civilian crossings

Semalka Border Crossing located between area of northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government and Syria

Ethem Emre Ozcan   | 22.06.2021
PKK/YPG terror group closes N.Iraq-Syria border gate to civilian crossings

HASAKA, Syria / ANKARA 

The terrorist group YPG/PKK on Monday closed a border gate between northern Iraq and Syria to civilian crossings, according to local sources.

Before the terror group stopped the crossings, the northern Iraq Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) had allowed civilians who applied online to go through the Semalka Border Gate from Al-Hasaka, a Syrian province under YPG/PKK occupation.

The KRG had enacted the system to counter one in which only names on lists sent by the terrorist YPG/PKK could make the crossing.

But on Monday, the terrorist group reasserted control over the border, closing it to civilian crossings altogether.

On Sunday, on the eve of the YPG/PKK move, TV channel Kurdistan 24, based in the KRG’s capital Erbil, ended its activities in regions under YPG/PKK occupation.


Tension between YPG/PKK and northern Iraq’s KRG

Tensions between the YPG/PKK and KRG have been rising since last December when the terrorist group PKK moved in Al-Hasaka against the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the semiautonomous KRG region.

Serbest Lezgin, the KRG deputy minister of Peshmerga affairs, had said the terrorist YPG/PKK attacked KRG Peshmerga forces with heavy weapons along the Syrian border on the night of Dec. 15, adding that international coalition forces led by the US have been providing weapons and aid to the YPG/PKK for years under the name of fighting the terrorist organization Daesh/ISIS.

On Dec.15, 2020, in a statement on social media about the tension between the PKK and Peshmerga forces, prominent YPG/PKK ringleader Ferhat Abdi Sirin, codenamed Mazlum Abdi, criticized the KDP.

Later YPG/PKK terrorists attacked and set fire to some offices in Al-Hasaka of the Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS), which is under the auspices of the KDP.

The YPG/PKK, which has not allowed the return of Syrian Peshmerga to northern Iraq since 2012, on Dec.17, 2020, also detained three fathers in Al-Hasaka whose children were members of Syrian Peshmerga forces.

While the tension between the parties continued, three people, including the YPG/PKK's so-called representative in Erbil Mustafa Osman Halil, were detained at Erbil airport in northern Iraq on June 10.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.


*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Istanbul

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