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22 Oct 2019 | 09:58 AM UTC

Iraq: Al Qaim and Rabia border crossings with Syria closed October 22 /update 1

Iraq News Alert

Authorities close Al Qaim (Anbar province) and Rabia (Nineveh province) border crossings with Syria October 22; heightened security presence expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/22/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/19/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Baghdad). COUNTRY/REGION Iraq, Al-Qaim, Rabia (Nineveh province)

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Local sources indicate that the Al Qaim (Anbar province) and Rabia (Nineveh province) border crossings with Syria are closed as of Tuesday, October 22. The Fish Khabur (Dohuk province) border crossing remains open. The Rabi crossing point will reportedly be opened occasionally to allow IDPs to cross from Syria.

A heightened security presence is expected along the border.


On October 20, Kurdish forces began withdrawing from northeastern Syria under a US-brokered ceasefire deal with Turkey. The ceasefire is due to end on Tuesday, October 22, by which point Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he will resume the Turkish offensive in Syria if the Kurdish forces have not withdrawn from the area.

Turkish forces launched a military operation in northeastern Syria in an attempt to expel Syrian Kurdish (People's Protection Units; YPG) forces from the Turkish border on October 5. President Erdoğan stated that the air and ground operations will extend 30 km (19 mi) into Syria's northeastern border. Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group in Turkey. The offensive comes days after US President Donald Trump announced a US military pullback in the region.


Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.


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