Kurd forces hold Iraq border crossing with Syria
SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq: Kurdish forces are in control of one the two official border crossings with Syria, which they seized after Iraqi forces withdrew, a senior Kurdish security official said on Sunday.
The Kurdish troops took control of the Rabia crossing on Tuesday and have held it since, Jabbar Yawar, the secretary general of the ministry responsible for the Kurdish peshmerga forces, told AFP.
Two peshmerga fighters were killed in an attack by militants after Kurdish troops took the crossing, Yawar said.
A major offensive by militants that overran swathes of territory has allowed Iraqi Kurds to begin realizing long-held territorial dreams, moving their forces into areas that the federal government has long opposed them adding to their autonomous northern region.
The Kurds have at the same time joined the fight against the militants, who have taken over all of one province and chunks of three more since they launched their assault late on Monday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the most powerful militant group in Iraq and a major force in the rebellion against Syria’s President Bashar Assad, has spearheaded the offensive, though supporters of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein have also been involved.