Iraqi PM reopens Kurdistan airports to global flights


Kurdish authorities confirmed that airports in Iraqi Kurdistan will return to federal Iraqi control and would report to Baghdad's Interior Ministry.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on global flights to two airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

The ban on global flights was part of sanctions imposed on the Kurdistan Region after it conducted a referendum in September on Kurdish independence in defiance of Baghdad's position, Reuters said.

The formal lifting of the blockade will take place in the next few days, Abadi's spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told the news agency Agence France-Presse.

Ex-WWE star CM Punk references a second UFC fight in June
He responded with, "June nine, after I win and lock eyes with my handsome wife, embrace my coaches and shout out my entire team". This date comes as a no-brainer for Punk's sophomore appearance as the event is UFC 225 in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.

On June 10, 2014, the group launched a blitzkrieg and seized large swathes of territories in predominantly Sunni provinces in northern and western Iraq, and later announced the formation of "Peace Companies" to protect Shiite shrines from Islamic State militants.

At a news conference in Irbil, the prime minister of Iraq's Kurdish region, Nechirvan Barzani, described al-Abadi's decision as "a step in the right direction", and said he would continue to work to resolve issues between the region and the central government.

Tensions rose between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum last September to approve the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.

The decision to lift the flight ban comes as Iraq is preparing for national elections slated to be held in May. The Iraqi parliament recently approved the 2018 budget in the absence of Kurdish MPs, who boycotted the meeting in protest at the cut in finances allocated to the region.