Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on 24 January was reported to have re-opened the Semalka-Fishkhabour border crossing with Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria. The crossing was closed for almost a month from late December following 15 December clashes between KRG border guards and the Revolutionary Youth Union, the youth wing of the Syrian-Kurdish PYD.

The crossing is a vital source of revenues for the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Aid and commercial goods flow from the Iraqi side while crude oil is smuggled from the Syrian side. Syrian crude has become key feedstock for refineries in Iraqi Kurdistan (MEES, 21 January) which faces gasoline shortages. Following pressure from the US the crossing will now be open two days a week on Monday and Wednesday according to the KRG’s Rudaw news agency. (CONTINUED - 132 WORDS)