Iraq’s Joint Operation Command sends forces to fourteen border crossings

Taking back control from militias, parties
Shalamcheh border crossing on Iraq- Iran border (File)

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SULAIMANI — Iraq’s Joint Operation Command said on Saturday (July 25) that it has sent units to fourteen border crossings, including four seaports, as part of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s campaign to reassert state control over customs procedures at the posts.

The border crossings and ports where units were sent include North Umm Qasr, South Umm Qasr, Middle Umm Qasr, Khor al-Zubair, Shalamcheh, Badra, al-Munthiriya, Safwan, al-Qaiim, Trebil, al-Shayib, Zarbatih, Abu Flus, and Arar.

In a statement, the command said that these units are fully empowered to deal with violations.

Militias and tribes in central and southern Iraq and the ruling political parties in the Kurdistan Region exert a high degree of control over customs procedures at the checkpoints in their areas of influence, which allows them to capture financial benefits for themselves.

Earlier this month, Kadhimi visited a border post in Diayla and the southern provinces to communicate that the effort was a personal priority, saying that the current situation robs the state of financial resources and encourages smuggling and corruption.

On Tuesday, an official at the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey denied rumors that the Iraqi Army had taken control of the facility.

So far, Kadhimi has not visited any of the Region’s crossings with Turkey and Iran as part of his campaign.

(NRT Digital Media)