The Semalka border crossing between Rojava and the Kurdistan Region. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--The Kurdistan Regional presidency has reopened the Semalka border crossing with Rojava in order to allow humanitarian goods, medicine, and food to cross the border.
“Officials in the border have been informed to open the gate to transfer medicine, foods and humanitarian needs,” Hamid Darbandi, who handles Rojava affairs for the Kurdistan Region’s presidency, told Rudaw on Tuesday.
Darbandi also explained that the transported goods will be cheap and tax-free in order to help Kurdish citizens of Rojava, insisting that neither Kurdistan Region nor Rojava officials have the right to receive tax from the trade.
The move comes after Lahur Talabani, director of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, said it was the KRG’s “moral duty” to reopen the border.
“#Kobane is a symbol of struggle & they protected our honour as #Kurds in the fight against ISIS. It is shameful we have closed our borders,” Talabani tweeted on Tuesday, noting that the region needed basic provisions such as “medicine and milk for children.”
“We have a moral duty in #Kobane, we should not let them continue to suffer because of political differences. The border needs to open. #KRG”
Talabani was in Kobane meeting with leaders of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He also attended the funeral of Abu Layla, YPG commander who died in an offensive to retake Manbij.
The border between the two autonomous Kurdish regions was closed due to political rifts between the KRG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Rojava.