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Kurd airports reopen to international flights

UTV | Baghdad: Iraq is reopening airports in the country’s Kurdish region to international flights after federal authority was restored at the hubs, according to a statement from Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi on Tuesday.

The announcement comes some six months after the airports were initially shut to international flights following a controversial referendum vote in northern Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region that overwhelmingly backed independence from Baghdad.

The airports are due to open “within a few days” government spokesman Saad Al Hadithi told The Associated Press.

The Kurdish independence vote last September, though non-binding, was held across the autonomous region’s three provinces as well as in some disputed territories controlled by Iraqi Kurdish security forces but claimed by Baghdad.

The referendum was vehemently rejected by Baghdad and Iraq’s other neighbours, ratcheting up tensions in the region on the heels of military victories against Daesh. (Courtesy – The Associated Press)

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