Iraqi PM reopens Kurdish airports to international flights

Iraqi PM reopens Kurdish airports to international flights

The announcement comes some six months after the airports were initially shut to international flights following a controversial referendum vote in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iraq is reopening airports in the country’s Kurdish region to international flights after federal authority was restored at the hubs, according to a statement from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday.

The announcement comes some six months after the airports were initially shut to international flights following a controversial referendum vote in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.

The airports are due to open “within a few days” government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told The Associated Press.

The Kurdish independence vote last September, though non-binding, was held across the autonomous region’s three provinces as well as in some disputed territories controlled by Iraqi Kurdish security forces but claimed by Baghdad.

The referendum was vehemently rejected by Baghdad and Iraq’s other neighbors, ratcheting up tensions in the region on the heels of military victories against ISIS group.

The decision to lift the flight ban comes as Iraq is preparing for national elections slated to be held in May.


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