KRG urges PYD-led Rojava offer duty-free border crossing

"The Kurdistan Region is ready to do anything it can to serve the people of Rojava."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official stated on Tuesday that the PYD-led ruling council of Rojava is taxing commuters on the Kurdistan Region-Rojava border despite requests for exemptions.

Salih Berbuhari, director of Peshabur Border in a press conference on Wednesday stated that “Upon a request from the people of Rojava and the Syria’s Kurdish National Council (ENKS), KRG has decided to allow the free transferring of livestock from Rojava to the Kurdistan Region.”

“Four days ago, Hamid Darbandi, the official advisor and manager of the Syrian Kurdish crisis asked us to allow livestock enter the Region freely, raising concern over the life of the animal in case of extended stays in an unfit environment,” Berbuhari told reporters on the border gate.

Berbuhari said his team contacted Rojava administration to agree on tax exemptions from both sides of the border but their offer was rejected.

On June 7, the border crossing between the Kurdistan Region and Rojava was re-opened after it was closed for over three months.  

“We agreed with Rojava administration to open the borders provided that the custom duties on both sides will be waived,” Darbandi told Kurdistan24 last week.

Abdul Karim Saroukhan, the head of the Kurdish-led administration in Rojava, previously told Reuters that the border closure was made in coordination with Turkey, which is concerned by increasing Kurdish influence in Syria. 

The Kurdish administration in Rojava believed they were targeted by the KRG after the border was closed in the past.   

But Berbuhari announced that Kurdistan Region is ready to do anything it can to serve the people of Rojava.

He added that PYD-led ruling council of Rojava is charging six dollars for each goat or sheep transferred from Rojava to the Region which can negatively affect the economy of Rojava in general and stockbreeders in particular.

“We have decided to not tax people crossing the border between the Kurdistan Region and Rojava. We hope the Rojava administration exempt follows the same strategy.”


Editing by Ava Homa