ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A joint military drill between Iranian and Iraqi forces has started on the Iran-KRG borders, temporarily closing two major border gates with the Kurdish Region.
“The Parviz Khan gate has temporarily closed this morning due to a military exercise being launched on the border areas,” Aram Saya Khan, an official from the border-crossing gate told Rudaw, adding they were informed in an earlier meeting this morning with Iranian authorities.
Khan added the closure only affected trade movement, not passengers on either side of the border.
He explained that this was not the first time a military drill was being launched on the Parviz Khan border-area.
Rudaw’s Halo Mohammed at the Parviz-Khan border reported that Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iraq’s Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi are involved in the military exercise.
Mohammed added the Bashmakh border-crossing was also closed due to the military drill.
Saed Masud Jazayeri, deputy head of the Iranian armed forces, said that Iranian commanders held a meeting Saturday morning to discuss helping Iraq impose its control over their border areas with the Kurdistan Region.
Iraq’s defense ministry stated Friday that it was coordinating with neighboring countries to implement Iraq’s “constitutional authority” over land and air borders, hours after a government ban on international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region came into force.
The United States cautioned against unilateral use of force by Iraq or its neighbors.
Iraqi officials speaking to AP said they will take control of Kurdistan Region’s international frontiers by setting up border control points just outside Kurdish-controlled areas in Iran and Turkey. The Iraqi military will not move through the Kurdistan Region, AP reported.