March 14, 2018 / 10:24 AM
Kurdistan Region airports to be opened Thursday

The international flights from and to Kurdistan Region airports are set restart on Thursday, March 15, after a nearly six-month blockade imposed by Baghdad, said the head of Sulaimani International Airport.

Tahir Abdullah said on Tuesday, March 13, that during meeting with Iraqi officials Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has informed them that the ban on Kurdistan Region flights will be lifted on Thursday, AFPreported.
Federal authorities imposed the blockade in September after the Kurdistan Region voted overwhelmingly for independence in a non-binding referendum rejected as illegal by the central government.
It was extended in December for two months and renewed in February for another possible three months.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement the airports of Kurdish regional capital Erbil and second city Sulaimani would again be "open to international flights".
The decision to lift the flight ban was made "after local Kurdish authorities accepted that central authorities retake control of the two airports," the statement said.
Since the flight ban went into force, all Kurdistan-bound international flights have been rerouted to Baghdad, which also imposed entry visas on foreigners wishing to visit the Kurdish region.
The flight ban was part of a battery of penalties inflicted on the Kurds as Baghdad sought to nullify the poll, with federal forces also seizing disputed oil-rich regions.
Baghdad demanded to take over passport control in airports in Kurdistan as well as customs issues.
Reporter's code: 50101