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Since Friday begin ban on flights in controlled by kurds region

Fri, 29.09.2017 13:23



An Iraqi government order that international airlines halt all flights in and out of the cities of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in Kurdish territory is set to kick in on Friday.

The decision to shut down the flights comes amid tensions over an overwhelming "yes" vote in an independence referendum held this week in Iraq's Kurdish region and disputed territories.

Iraq's Transport Ministry ordered international airlines to halt service to Erbil, the Kurdish regional capital, and Sulaimaniyah, its second city. Regional airlines have said they will honour the flight ban.

The non-binding referendum - in which the Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Iraq - was billed by Kurdish leaders as an exercise in self-determination. The idea of an independent state has been central to Kurdish politics for decades.

All international flights to and from Iraq's Kurdistan region were set to end from 6pm (1500GMT). 

Almost all foreign airlines suspended flights to the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in compliance with the notice from the government in Baghdad, which has control over the country's airspace.

Lufthansa and Austrian were the only carriers to have kept at least one flight still scheduled after the deadline. But a spokesman for Lufthansa Group said on Friday it was checking whether it would have to cancel flights.

Read this article in russian.

Source: Al Jazeera

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