Border Crossings deepen Baghdad-Erbil conflict

Jaafar continued, “If the Iraqi Kurdistan region insists on occupying the crossing, the Iraqi federal government will have no other option than resorting to force to open the gates at the crossing.”

The minister said, “On Nov. 3, common security committees were created under the patronage of the US in order to deploy mixed peshmerga and Iraqi forces in Faysh Khabur.” He considers that “the situation will not last forever given the Kurdish unconstitutional behavior.”

Currently, the results of the agreements and security developments are not affecting trade. Ali al-Kaabi, an Iraqi businessman working in the Jamila section of Baghdad, told Al-Monitor, “I received a shipment of imported goods from Turkey on Nov. 9,” and he affirmed that “transit truck drivers have not encountered any changes across the route.”

Al-Monitor met with a number of truck drivers. One of them told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that some “trucks will be making major changes to their routes in the near future in order to avoid the Iraqi Kurdistan region.”

He added, “Truck drivers have started taking the Tal Afar route [from Ibrahim Khalil] to Mosul, which is almost 160 kilometers (100 miles) long." It only briefly passes though the Iraqi Kurdistan Region; the more direct route, through Dahuk, is only 130 kilometers, but goes through much more KRG territory,

The truck driver continued, "It’s a sign that trade routes far from Kurdistan will be used. Such routes were prosperous in the 1990s … but they lost their popularity due to the Gulf War and the threats of the Islamic State [IS].”

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