Iraq Closes Anbar Border Crossing

According to a statement reported by local media outlets on June 11, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq said, “The continuation of the closure will have an adverse effect on the Iraqi economy and will hinder the flow of goods. It will also increase the hardships faced by transport truck drivers, as they will not be able to continue along their way.” The statement added, “A lot of goods have been damaged due to the fact that they are not allowed to enter the country.”

Mutlaq’s statement noted, “The closure of the border crossing at Trebil contributed to a rise in food and commodity prices.”

Halbusi said, “The losses endured by the province are not limited to the fact that it will lose its share of the border crossing proceeds; another problem is the salaries of the workers who are paid on a daily basis.”

"Dozens of families survive based on the daily wages their sons who work in Trebil receive. If these workers are to stop their work, then this means that they will not be getting paid,” he added.

Kareem Khudair, who owns a truck and works in the transport of goods to and from Jordan through the Trebil crossing, said that “the transport fares doubled when the crossing authorities tightened the procedures for checking our trucks, prior to completely closing the border crossing.”

He told Al-Monitor, “About two months ago, the transportation fares for my truck ranged between $1,500 to $1,700 per shift, while they had increased to $3,000 prior to the crossing’s closure.”

“We had to wait at the crossing for weeks, while it used to take us only two days to cross,” he added.

Economist Jawad al-Shammari said, “The prices of most of the goods received through Jordan to Iraq increased by about 10% due to the tightened inspection procedures in Trebil.” He added, “The decision to completely close the crossing will lead to a further increase in prices.”

“The prices of vegetables, fruits, printing materials and several types of canned foods have increased because of the Trebil problem,” Shammari told Al-Monitor. “A lot of these items are consumed on a daily basis, which means that Iraqi citizens will be the ones to directly feel this price increase.”

Omar al-Shaher is a contributor to Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. His writing has appeared in publications including France’s LeMonde, Iraq's Alesbuyia, Egypt’s Al-Ahaly and the Elaph website. He previously covered political and security affairs for Iraq's Al-Mada newspaper.

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