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Iraq suspends international flights from Erbil

Erbil International Airport [Jeffrey Beall/Flickr]

Erbil International Airport in the Kurdish region of Iraq announced the suspension of all international flights from today.

Airport Director, Tallar Fayek, told AFP that "all international flights, without exception, from and to Erbil airport will be suspended at 6:00pm [15:00 GMT] on Friday following the decision of the Iraqi cabinet and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi."

Al-Abadi asked the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to hand over control of its two international airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah to the central government following a vote which saw an overwhelming number of Kurds supporting gaining independence from Iraq.

The prime minister warned that if order was refused, he would halt all direct international flights to and from the Kurdish region.

The KRG rejected the Iraqi government's request to hand over control of its international airports, but said it was ready to negotiate the acceptance of observers sent by Baghdad to the airports.

Read: Kurdish independence will see Iraq disintegrate; it's Israel's dream scenario

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