The Iraqi Government has approved the reopening of a border crossing between Iraq and Syria starting next Monday for the crossing of travelers and the commercial movement, after five years closed by the occupation of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdelmahdi approved the reopening of the Al Qaim border in western Iraq, the Iraqi news agency INA reported in the last hours, citing the president of the Iraqi border crossing authority, Kazem Breisam al Eqabi
"The border crossing is ready for the passage of passengers, as well as for the commercial exchange," said the official, who expressed his "hope that its inauguration will contribute to the development of bilateral relations between Iraq and Syria."
The border crossing is located in the city of Al Qaim, in the extreme west of Iraq, and has been the last stronghold of the IS that was recovered by Iraqi forces, in November 2017, after the extremist group completely dominated it. .
Al Qaim connects Syria with Al Bukamal, in the province of Deir al Zur, where Shi'a militias backed by Iran are stationed and are allies of Damascus and Baghdad.
Deir al Zur was the last stronghold of the IS in Syria and was recovered last March, although control of the province is divided between Syrian troops and the Forces of Democratic Syria, an alliance led by Kurds and supported by the United States.
In recent months, Al Bukamal has been the target of unknown attacks against militia positions, as reported by NGOs and activist groups.
Syria has repeatedly asked Iraq to reopen the border crossing because of the importance this route represents.
Between Iraq and Syria there are three official border crossings in Iraqi territory: Al Qaim, Al Walid and Rabía, which connect with Al Bukamal, Al Tanf and Al Yaarubiya, respectively.
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