KRG shuts border with Syrian Kurds, cutting oil artery

The closure blocks a major source of funding for the Rojava administration, a U.S. ally in the fight against IS.
Tanker trucks at the Lanaz refinery in Erbil, which has received much of its crude oil feedstock from Syria. (Photo credit: Lanaz Company)

SULAIMANIYA/ERBIL - Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has shut down its border with northeast Syria, including an oil trade that was generating tens of millions of dollars per month for the Kurdish-led administration in Rojava.

The closure, which started in mid-December 2021, has forced the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) to sharply slash its oil production — damaging a financial lifeline for a putative U.S. ally, which faces threats from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group, the Assad regime, and the Turkish government.

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