STAMPED:Administrators with the Ahrar a-Sham al-Islamiya-controlled Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria announced the opening of a civilian-staffed department of migration and passport control on Tuesday.
The new department “created entry and exit cards stamped by the crossing’s administration, in order to not stamp Syrian passports out of concern for civilians in regime-controlled areas,” according to the Bab Al-Hawa administration’s Facebook.
In addition, “Ahrar a-Sham al-Islamiya removed its fighters and the appearance of military operations from the crossing and tasked a specific battalion with maintaining order in the crossing,” Abu Yasir, an administrator at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, told Syria Direct on Wednesday.
The Islamic Front, of which Ahrar a-Sham al-Islamiya is a member, took control of the crossing in northern Idlib province from the Free Syrian Army in late 2013.
The border is only open for travellers entering Syria from Turkey. The Turkish government closed their side of the border to all non-commercial traffic in early March, without releasing an official explanation.
“It is expected that the crossing will open at the beginning of June according to what we are hearing from the Turkish gendarmerie, but we haven’t been officially informed yet,” said Abu Yasir.