Iraqi authorities extended international flight ban on Kurdistan

Vastavam web: Iraqi authorities have extended through February an international flight ban slapped on the autonomous Kurdish region in response to a controversial independence vote, an airport official said today.Baghdad severed Iraqi Kurdistan’s air links to the outside world in late September after it voted overwhelmingly for independence at a non-binding referendum rejected as illegal by the central government.Talar Faiq Saleh, the director of the airport in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Arbil, said the transport ministry in Baghdad had sent a message signalling that international flights were “banned until February 28”.

“Only internal flights are authorised,” she said.The two-month extension sees Baghdad keeping up the pressure on Iraqi Kurdistan as the fallout from the failed independence push has battered its economy.