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Iraqi Kurds under pressure after independence vote

Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq are under expanding pressure after Monday’s independence referendum, because the Iraqi executive requires a suspension of world flights to airports within the Kurdish area. 

Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) will droop flights to and from Erbil airport in northern Iraq from Friday, bringing up an Iraqi executive resolution to dam world flights on the airport, MEA Chairman Mohammad al-Hout stated by means of telephone.

“For now, we’re stopping. The last flight is on the 29th, until they solve the issue,” he informed Reuters information company on Wednesday. 

MEA’s resolution comes simply hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi threatened to impose a global air embargo at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) if it does now not give up regulate of its airports.

OPINION: Kurdish independence vote – A historic point of view

The KRG’s transportation ministry rejected the Iraqi executive’s ultimatum and insisted that the area’s airports will stay under the regulate of Kurdish government. 

On Tuesday, Kurdish chief Masoud Barzani introduced that almost all of Kurdish electorate supported independence in Monday’s referendum.


The embargo risk is the newest in a string of retaliatory measures towards the KRG’s push for independence.

Domestic flights aren’t concerned within the ultimatum and within the worst case, world go back and forth to and from the KRG can be re-routed via Baghdad and different Iraqi airports, Abadi stated.

Baghdad remaining week requested international nations to forestall direct flights to the world airports of Erbil and Sulaymaniya, in KRG territory, however best Iran declared such an air embargo, halting direct flights to and from northern Iraq.

READ MORE: Regional implications of the Kurdish independence vote

Baghdad can even ask neighbouring nations to close the border with Iraq’s Kurdish area if the KRG does now not give up border posts to the central executive by means of Friday.

In reaction, Barzani advised the sector to “respect the will of millions of people” who voted in Monday’s referendum. He referred to as on Baghdad to interact in a “serious dialogue” with the KRG.

‘Left in a lurch’

Despite opposition from Baghdad, Turkey and Iran, Iraqi Kurds went to the polls on Monday, with an estimated 72 % voter turnout, in keeping with the election fee.

In a televised speech from Ankara on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to impose sanctions towards the semi-autonomous Kurdish area, pronouncing it “will be left in a lurch” and its other people would move hungry.

READ MORE: Iraqi PM says Kurds will have to give up airports or face embargo

“If [Iraqi Kurd leader Masoud] Barzani and the Kurdish Regional Government do not go back on this mistake as soon as possible, they will go down in history with the shame of having dragged the region into an ethnic and sectarian war,” Erdogan stated.

The feedback got here as Iraqi troops joined the Turkish military for joint army workout routines close to Turkey’s border with northern Iraq.

Turkey has lengthy been northern Iraq’s major hyperlink to the out of doors global, however sees the referendum as a risk to its personal nationwide safety, fearing it’s going to inflame separatism amongst its personal Kurdish inhabitants.

Can Kurdistan be an impartial state?

Source: News businesses

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