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Baghdad extends Kurdistan flight ban until February 2018

The flight ban was imposed by the central government after the controversial Kurdish referendum [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 December, 2017

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A ban imposed in September on all flights from and to Iraq’s Kurdistan Region has been extended by Baghdad for another few months, the Erbil International Airport said on Wednesday.
A ban imposed in September on all flights from and to Iraq’s Kurdistan Region has been extended by Baghdad for another two months, the Erbil International Airport said on Wednesday.

The airport released a notice on Twitter from the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority saying the flight ban would remain in place throughout February 28, 2018.

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

On September 29, Iraq’s central government imposed a ban on all international flights into and out of the Kurdistan region following a controversial vote for independence that triggered an ongoing crisis with Baghdad.

The flight ban came after the Kurdish region claimed victory in an independence referendum that has been vehemently rejected by Baghdad and Iraq's neighbours with Kurdish populations. 

The region has two airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, both of which will now remain mostly unoperational.

Following the referendum, Iraqi government forces were ordered to deploy to areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil, capturing the contested oil-rich Kirkuk province.

With agencies.

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