IRBIL, Iraq — An Iraqi Kurdish official is denying reports that Iraqi federal forces have taken control of a key border crossing between Turkey and Iraq’s northern Kurdish region that’s in a major dispute with Baghdad.
Abdul Wahab Mohammed, who heads the Kurdish border intelligence, says “no Iraqis have entered or taken over” the crossing of Ibrahim Khalil.
Border crossings have become a contested issue after last month’s Kurdish independence referendum. Baghdad has demanded that all border control revert to federal authorities and has also banned all international flights to and from the Kurdish region.
Mohammed says a senior Iraqi officer — Othman al-Ghanmi, the chief of staff to the Iraqi Army — only briefly met with Iraqi troops on Turkey’s side of the crossing. Iraqi troops are in Turkey for military drills.