- Life Style
Syrian rebels took control of the main crossing between Iraq and Syria along the two countries' northern border on Saturday, the governor of the Iraqi province of Nineveh told AFP.
"Iraqi officials from the crossing called me and they said that at 5 pm, some gunmen took control of the Yaribiyah crossing and they were informed that the crossing is now in the hands of the Free Syrian Army," Atheel al-Nujaifi said, referring to the Rabiyah crossing by its Syrian name.
He said that because the official working hours of the crossing ended at 4 pm, Iraqi officials had already closed their side of the border when it was taken over by Syrian rebels.
"But starting tomorrow, only Iraqis will be allowed to enter from Syria to Iraq," he said. "We don't know the nature of the side that we are dealing with and until then, we have to wait and see and we will only give permission to Iraqis to cross the border from Syria to Iraq."
Iraqi border guards First Lieutenant Mohammed Khalaf al-Shammari, stationed on the Iraqi side of the crossing, told AFP that rebels "raised the flag of the Free Syrian Army and tore up pictures of [President] Bashar al-Assad."
Shammari said that there was little movement on the Syrian side of the border.