First time in 26 years Iraq controls Ibrahim Khalil border-crossing between Iraq and Turkey

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After almost 26 years of Kurdistan Regional Government control of the Ibrahim Khalil border-crossing the Iraqi Federal government establishes authority over it. The border crossing became an infamous piece in the smuggling network developed by the Kurdish government and the Saddam regime which both profited millions weekly. However after the downfall of the Saddam regime the crossing remained purely in the Kurdish government’s control and while smuggling networks were no longer as lucrative there was still a large income stemming from the control.

The Iraqi Federal government formed in 2005 after the fall of Saddam has in it’s constitution, one written up jointly between all Iraqi denominations, that the Federal government is responsible for borders and foreign entry into Iraq. This was previously under the cooperation of the Kurdistan Regional Government. However recent years have shown a poor track record of the KRG in transparency on tariffs and where the money goes. A key problem with oil revenues generated by the KRG independent of the Iraqi government. Salaries for Kurdish residents in the KRG have been delayed for upwards of 6 months and the United States was the principal donor for the Peshmerga salaries. Many have asked where the money from oil and border tariffs goes and fingers have pointed routinely to the ruling Barzani family.

With the Iraqi government now assuming control over the border-crossing there is an expected decrease in tariffs, the Army Chief of Staff not only visited the border-crossing but also the Iraqi Military College in the Kurdish province of Zakho. This new found Federal control over the borders and oil infrastructure is in line with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s promise to take over the KRG in paying Kurdish employee salaries with the funds. After several years of neglect from the Kurdish government the Kurdish citizens of Iraq may look towards the Federal government for more initiatives which have been muddied with the corruption and nepotism of the Kurdish government.

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