Kurdish Peshmerga forces have confirmed seizing the Rabia border crossing, the northernmost major crossing between Iraq and neighboring Syria. Kurdish forces say they took the crossing on Tuesday after Iraqi troops fled the area.
The other side of the border, the Syrian town of al-Yaroubiyah, has been under the control of al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra for quite some time, and has repeatedly been contested by the Kurdish militias in Western Kurdistan, the Syrian northeast.
Eventual Kurdish control of both sides of the border would connect the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Iraqi territory with the de facto autonomous Syrian Kurds, and could be a goal for KRG as they drift closer to secession.
It also risks them running up against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), however, as Rabia is in the Nineveh Province, which the ISIS fighters have otherwise conquered. ISIS has been fighting the Syrian Kurds for quite some time.