Iraqi Kurdistan's new trench on Syrian border not popular with all Kurds
Agence France Presse reported Tuesday that the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq is digging a trench along its border with Syria in order to prevent militants from the neighboring civil war from entering its territory.
“The trench is designed to prevent the infiltration of members of terrorist groups and stop smugglers,” Halkurd Mullah Ali, the spokesman for the Kurdish region’s peshmerga Security Ministry, told AFP.
When complete, the trench will stretch 17 kilometers (10.6 miles), 2 meters (6.6 feet) deep and 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) wide.
“We arrested terrorists and smugglers trying to infiltrate into Kurdistan,” peshmerga Brig. Gen. Hashem Yeti told reporters. Yeti also personally received complaints from residents along the border who have been feeling threatened by the neighboring war and called on the leadership to secure the area.
However, not all Kurds are happy about the trench developments. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) which rules the autonomous Kurdish region in Syria has condemned the trench construction, citing it as an attempt to block Syria's Kurdish population from entering Iraqi Kurdistan.
Hundreds of Kurds and other Syrians in the war-torn country have been waiting to cross into Kurdistan since the border closed Saturday.