Albukamal, Syria/Husaybah, Iraq – Syria and Iraq are stepping up their cross-border cooperation. On Monday, an Iraqi official revealed to the Sputnik News Agency that Baghdad is preparing to reopen the Al-Qa’im border crossing with Syria.
This agreement between Baghdad and Damascus will reestablish the first official border crossing that links the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq since the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) defeat.
However, the reopening of the Al-Qa’im border crossing is not only good news for the Syrian and Iraqi governments, but it is also a major victory for Iran, which has plans to build a railroad from Tehran to Beirut. It has been no secret that Iran sees the border city of Albukamal as a key fixture to their future land bridge that links Iraq and Syria.
The reopening of the border crossing will also give the governments of Iraq, Iran, and Syria a possibility to start using the international highway again. The international highway has been closed since the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh). In the long-run, the international highway could help Iran evade the Western-led blockade of its oil shipping to Syria.
In addition, now that the Islamic State has been defeated, Iran is very likely to use this area as an infrastructural lifeline, which would also give it an alternative to the Persian Gulf. The United States, United Kingdom, and their allies (Gulf monarchies) have been causing a lot of trouble to Iranian oil shipping, especially lately.
Early this month, the British military illegally seized an Iranian oil tanker “Grace 1”, which caused Tehran to warn the British they would respond in kind if their tanker wasn’t released immediately. How much of a serious matter this was for the Iranians, they proved by seizing a British oil tanker “Steno Impero” soon afterward. The seizure was captured on video.