Al-Anbar, Iraq – In an exclusive interview with the Arabic-language version of the Sputnik Agency, the Iraqi military commander in the Al-Qa’im District of Al-Anbar, Ahmad Jadayan, told the Russian news site that the border crossing connecting the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Iraq will be opened in the next the 60 days.
According to Jadayan, the agreement was put in place after Iraq’s National Security Adviser Kazhem Al-Fayadh and his Syrian counterpart made the decision to reopen this border crossing that links Syria’s Albukamal and Iraq’s Al-Qa’im.
Jadayan said there is not much that needs to be done to reopen the border crossing, as the majority of the region is desert terrain.
Last week, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar reported that Iraq had rejected the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) proposal to reopen the border with Syria after the latter refused to hoist the Syrian Arab Republic’s flag at the crossing.
While Iraq is officially allied to the United States of America and is officially part of the U.S.-led Coalition, Baghdad has maintained close ties with neighboring Syria and Iran, much to the dismay of Washington.
Washington is actively lobbying against this, but Iraq has been adamant to continue its cooperation with both the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which the US sees as hostile. All three countries have also been a part of the Russian-led antiterrorist RSII coalition (Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalition), also referred to as “4+1” (in which the “plus one” refers to Hezbollah of Lebanon) since its inception in early September 2015.
For Russia, cooperation with Iraq is very important, considering the fact that the Russian bombers and cargo planes have been using the northern part of Iraqi airspace. For Iran, the reopening of the border crossing between Syria and Iraq is incredibly important, as this will help them build their land bridge that is necessary to link Tehran to Damascus.