Iraq to halt international flights to Kurdistan Region

Photo: AFP


Iraq’s central government is to suspend international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region, as pressure mounts after Monday’s independence referendum, the BBC reports.

Baghdad has said only domestic flights will be permitted from 18:00 (15:00 GMT) unless the Kurds hand over control of Irbil and Sulaimaniya airports.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has said such a ban would be “illegal”.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wants the referendum, in which 92% of voters backed secession, to be annulled.

Kurdish leaders insist the referendum was legitimate and that they now have a mandate to start negotiations with Baghdad and neighbouring countries.

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