The Ibrahim Khalil crossing is a vital supply route for northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government from Turkey.

Turkish and Iraqi soldiers were heading towards the Habur border gate between their two countries and Iraqi troops were expected to assume control of the crossing from the KRG's Peshmerga forces.
Turkish and Iraqi soldiers were heading towards the Habur border gate between their two countries and Iraqi troops were expected to assume control of the crossing from the KRG's Peshmerga forces. (AA)

Control of the Ibrahim Khalil border gate between Turkey and northern Iraq has been handed over to Baghdad, Turkey's prime minister announced on Tuesday.  

Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group meeting, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkish officials will remain in control of the Habur border gate on the Turkish side of the border, while from now on the Ibrahim Khalil gate on the Iraqi side will be in the control of Iraqi authorities.  

Northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) handed over control to Iraqi forces following a Turkish-Iraqi joint military deployment to the border crossing earlier in the day. 

The Ibrahim Khalil border gate, also known as the Habur crossing on the Turkish side, is the main crossing between Turkey and Iraq.

Early on Tuesday, both Turkish and Iraqi troops, who have been holding a joint military drill in Turkey's southeastern province of Sirnak since mid-September, advanced towards the border crossing. 

The Iraqi central government has sought to take control of the gate, which has been under the control of the KRG forces, since a referendum on Kurdish regional independence on was held on September 25.

Baghdad had ruled that the referendum, which was broadly opposed by the international community, was illegal.

Neighbouring Turkey and Iran, as well as the US, also condemned the KRG authorities over the referendum.

Source: TRT World