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                Syria, Iraq open key border crossing

                Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-30 18:28:53|Editor: xuxin
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                SYRIA-IRAQ-BORDER CROSSING-OPENING

                Syrian trucks move toward the Bukamal-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq on Sept. 30, 2019. The Bukamal-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq, which connects the town of Al-Bukamal in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour to the city of Husaybah, in the Al-Qaim District of Iraq's Anbar Governorate, was reopened on Monday for the first time since its closure in 2014 when Islamic State (IS) militants captured areas on both sides of the border. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

                DEIR AL-ZOUR, Syria, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Bukamal-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq was reopened on Monday for the first time since its closure in 2014 when Islamic State (IS) militants captured areas on both sides of the border.

                Xinhua reporters at the site witnessed the re-opening of that key border crossing, which connects the town of Al-Bukamal in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour to the city of Husaybah, in the Al-Qaim District of Iraq's Anbar Governorate.

                The crossing is one of three major border crossings shared between Iraq and Syria and is considered one of the major supply routes across the Middle East.

                The Syrian-Iraqi border points were all closed when the Islamic State (IS) captured areas on both sides of the borders between 2013-2014.

                In 2017, the Iraqi forces captured the Al-Qaim area from IS and the Syrian army captured the al-Bukamal.

                The crossing was supposed to be reopened last month, but the event was delayed due to logistic preparations.

                The border crossing is crucial also politically and militarily as it links Iran with the Mediterranean through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

                Last October, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a press conference in Syria's capital Damascus that the border crossings between Iraq and Syria should be opened after the major defeat of IS in both countries.

                The Syrian Ministry of Information has invited Syria-based journalists to attend the reopening ceremony of the crossing.

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