Iraq extends Kurdistan intl flight ban until February

Iraqi authorities have extended through February an international flight ban slapped on the autonomous Kurdish region, AFP reported, citing an airport official. Baghdad severed Iraqi Kurdistan’s air links to the outside world in late September after it voted overwhelmingly for independence in a non-binding referendum. The vote was rejected as illegal by the central government. The flight ban was part of penalties inflicted on the Kurds as Baghdad sought to nullify the poll. Talar Faiq Saleh, the director of the airport in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Arbil, said the Transport Ministry in Baghdad had sent a message saying that international flights were “banned until February 28.”