The head of the Jordanian truck owners Mohammed Khair al-Daoud said on September 7 that about 6,000 trucks are currently at high readiness and are ready to transport goods to Iraq through the Trebil crossing.
Al-Daoud said in a statement to the Jordanian newspaper “Al-Rai”:
“… the Association of truck owners held several meetings with the Iraqi embassy to discuss the transfer of goods to Iraq through the Trebil crossing through obtaining visas and coordination with the competent authorities to discuss the process of transporting goods in the exchange areas”.
He pointed out that “the Iraqi ambassador had shown great cooperation with the Union of truck owners during the past days” stressing that “in the event of the completion of security and technical measures, the Jordanian trucks will carry out exchanges of goods with Iraqi trucks during the coming period.”
A Jordanian security official has stated that the Karamah crossing will be opened for the public on the third day of Eid, September 3, while staff will be deployed from August 30.
“We have conducted a trial run at the crossing with our Iraqi counterparts earlier this week at the al-Karamah crossing on August 20,” the official said.
He also said that the decision was made to reopen the crossing, after a year-long closure, following clearing operations conducted by the Iraqi and Jordanian military forces against IS militants in the area.
Discussions to reopen the border crossing have been continuing over the past few months between Iraq and Jordan. The Karamah border crossing connects the Jordanian town of Ruwaished with the Iraqi town of Trebil.
The Iraqi ambassador to Jordan, Safia Al Souhail had previously stated that “the Iraqi Cabinet awarded a contract to a security firm to secure the road connecting Baghdad to Trebil.”
According to Jordanian statistics, more than one million Iraqi and Jordanian passengers used to pass through the Trebil crossing every year, and the facility was extremely important to both countries as it was the only land border through which commodities are traded between Iraq and Jordan.’
By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Iraq is trying to revive the Trebil border crossing between Iraq and Jordan, which was closed in 2014 after the Islamic State (IS) took control of Anbar province.
But the highway from Baghdad toward the crossing is not safe and has been the stage of terrorist attacks for a while, most recently the IS attack on an Iraqi security forces’ convoy April 22 in the Al-Sakkar area east of Rutba on the highway near the Jordanian border.
As a result, 10 security officers were killed and 20 others were injured. Following the incident, soldiers of the Eighth Brigade deployed in Rutba appealed to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for equipment and weapons to secure the international highway between Ramadi and Rutba to avoid surprise attacks by IS sleeper cells.
Due to the imminent threats to the road, which is one of Iraq’s vital economic lines as it connects Basra in the south to Jordan in the west, Iraq commissioned an American company to secure and rebuild the road. The contract also included reconstructing bridges, 36 of which are destroyed.
A government source close to Abadi told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “In his recent visit to Baghdad, Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, discussed with Iraqi officials the issue of securing the Baghdad-Terbil and the Safwan-Terbil crossings.”