Kobane: Iraqi Kurdistan’s Counter-Terrorism director calls for opening border with Rojava

Lahur Talabani, the head Kurdish Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) of Iraqi Kurdistan meeting Syrian Kurdish officials in Kobane. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

KOBANE – Lahur Talabani, director of the Kurdish Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG), affiliated with the Patriotic Union Party (PUK), called on the Iraqi Kurdish government to open its border with Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region. Talabani’s call came during his visit to Kobane on Monday. “It’s shame for us Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan, that the border is closed,” Talabani said.

“Kobane is a symbol of struggle and they protected our honour as Kurds. It is our pleasure to visit the administration. This visit has shown us the real suffering of the people of Kobane, who still live within their destroyed homes. Yet it makes us happy when we see people coming gradually back to their homes despite the destruction their hometown was exposed to [in the conflict against ISIS],” Talabani said. “This is the message to our enemies, after sacrificing 1,500 martyrs,” he said.

Lahur Talabani visited the local administration of Kobane in the presence of PUK officials.

According to Talabani, the local administration in Kobane managed to provide water, electricity and aid, despite an embargo from four sides. “That’s why 90 per cent of the people are coming back, because they support the local administration here,” Talabani said.

“The KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq] should open the border, and especially Samelka crossing because it’s a gate for medicine, milk of children and relief,” he said.

The head of Kobane’s local administration Anwar Muslim welcomed the Kurdish CTG-head to ‘the capital of resistance’.  “This delegation saw by its own eyes the destruction and the rebuilding process. We thank them for their help in rebuilding Kobane,” Muslim said, while calling for holding a Kurdish national congress.

“We discussed with the delegation the process of rebuilding, health care, and they offered their help, and we in the name of Kobane and the local administration welcome them,” he added.

The border gate of Samelka has been closed by the Iraqi Kurdish government due to political differences over power-sharing between the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) in Syria’s Kurdish region [Rojava]. The KNC is backed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that controls the border gate. 

A meeting between high-level PYD officials and KDP officials on 24 May failed to solve the border problem, and so far the border remains closed.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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