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Baghdad extends Erbil flight ban by 2 months


A flight ban at Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region has been extended by two months, the airport said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

The airport released a notice on Twitter from the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority saying that the flight ban was extended till Feb. 28, 2018.

 

"Military, United Nations, diplomatic and humanitarian flights may operate subject to approval," the statement added.

 

On Sept. 29, Iraq’s central government imposed a ban on all international flights into and out of the Kurdish region.

 

The ban against Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports came in response to the Sept. 25 illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence. Ties between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have been deeply strained since then.

 

At the time, most regional and international actors -- including Turkey -- voiced firm opposition to the illegal poll, with many warning it would only further destabilize the already volatile region.

 

Following the referendum, Iraqi government forces moved into several parts of the country “disputed” between Baghdad and Erbil, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

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