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Iraq closes border with Jordan, in part to deprive Islamic State of taxes on cargo trucks


BAGHDAD — Iraq closed its border with Jordan until further notice, in part to deprive Islamic State militants of taxes they impose on cargo trucks driving through their territory, a senior Iraqi military official said Thursday.

A Jordanian government official confirmed the closure of the Trebil crossing between Jordan and Iraq.

The closure dealt a new blow to Jordan's fragile economy which has suffered from the spillover of Islamic State land grabs in neighboring Iraq and Syria since the summer of 2014. In the spring, Jordan closed its only trade crossing with Syria after Islamic militants seized the area from Syrian government forces.

In Iraq, the Islamic State group controls large areas between Trebil and the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, in the country's Anbar province. Earlier this week, Iraq launched a large-scale military offensive to try to dislodge the Islamic State group from Anbar.

Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, a spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command, told The Associated Press on Thursday that authorities have closed Trebil until further notice. Maan noted that the IS group has been imposing taxes on the goods crossing areas under its control. He said the crossing will reopen when the security situation improves.

Traffic on the Jordanian-Iraqi border had been disrupted even before the closure announcement.

Jordan, meanwhile, urged drivers not to head to the Iraqi border.

Akour reported from Amman, Jordan

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