Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq preventing hundreds of residency holders from crossing from North and East Syria

DAYRIK (AL-MALIKIYAH), Syria — An administrator at Semalka border crossing near Dayrik (Al-Malikiyah) that connects North and East Syria (NES) with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) said that approximately 150-200 residents from NES who live in the KRI demanded Sunday that they be allowed to cross back into KRI after visiting NES.

The border crossing was recently closed due to the registering of several coronavirus cases in NES.

One resident said that people with European nationalities were being allowed to cross by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) while residency holders were not allowed to return to their homein the KRI.

Another administrative source at Semalka said that the movement of the return trip at the crossing is “almost stopped completely” as it prevents anyone from coming to the areas of NES. KRG policy allows European residency holders to transit through the KRI provided that they have a copy of their flight ticket and have obtain prior approval.

The Democratic Autonomous Administration of NES announced last Friday the closure of all crossings, with the exception of humanitarian aid which must then be quarantine for 14 days, after recording four news cases of coronavirus infection last Thursday.