Flight Ban to Erbil Kicks In Following Kurdish Independence Vote

StoryfulNewsPublished: September 29, 2017
Published: September 29, 2017

A ban on all international flights to and from the Iraqi-Kurdish capital Erbil came into force on Friday evening, September 29, as Baghdad piled on pressure for local authorities to annul the outcome of last weekend’s independence vote. In a statement on Friday, the Iraq Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi’s office insisted the blockade was not to designed to prevent supplies to the region. Rather, it was part of "procedures to return control of entry and exit of goods and individuals to the territory to the federal government and federal regulatory agencies, as is implemented at all Iraqi ports to ensure the prevention of smuggling and corruption. " Kurdish news outlet Rudaw reported the blockade would not include military aircrafts. Airlines began announcing they were suspending flights to Erbil and Sulaimaniya shortly after the results overwhelmingly in favour of the independence were announced. Among the first to announce the suspension of flights was Lebanese Middle East Airlines. Credit: Facebook/Rudaw via Storyful

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