Human Rights

DAMASCUS, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Sunday underscored the importance of a quick reopening of the border crossings with Iraq, according to the state news agency SANA.

Al-Moallem’s remarks came during his meeting with the visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari held in the capital Damascus on Sunday evening.

Both ministers affirmed the need to reopen border crossings to improve the flow of goods and facilitate travel between the two countries.

Reopening the border points come as the Syrian army has cleared large swaths of border areas between Syria and Iraq from the presence of the Islamic State (IS).

In July, the Iraqi forces worked to enhance the security situation on the border with Syria, installing cameras and flying drones to ensure the security against any threat from IS.

Earlier in October, the Iraqi security forces said that the Iraqi army has strengthened control of the country’s border with Syria to prevent infiltration attempts by terrorists.

Both countries have suffered from the presence of the IS militants in the border region. Given that the two countries have fought IS and secured the border points, the situation seems ripe for reopening the border crossings.

However, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and allied Kurdish-led groups still control border areas in northeastern Syria with Iraq.

The U.S. forces also present at the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria where a major border crossing between Syria and Iraq is located.

The border crossing that would be likely reopened is the al-Qa’im which is located in southeast of Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

Al-Qa’im crossing is considered as one of the major supply routes across the Middle East, which connects the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir al-Zour to the city of Husaybah in the Al-Qa’im District of Iraq’s Anbar Governorate.