ERBIL (Sputnik) — Talar Saleh, Director of Erbil International Airport, told Sputnik on Wednesday that he was hopeful that the ban on international flights that is expected to come into force on Friday will be lifted shortly thereafter, adding that now the flights are proceeding as scheduled.
"We will see what happens on Friday, maybe in two days they will change the decision. Wrong decisions were taken several times; unfortunately, the decisions of the government in Baghdad were also wrong. However, I don't think this solution will be longstanding," Saleh said.
"I think it will be difficult to ban flights. We have international [counter-terrorist] coalition forces in our airport. We can say that there are not only civil aircraft in the airport. If they [Baghdad] implement this decision, we too, in response, can do something," Saleh said.
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said that all international flights to and from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports would be suspended starting from Friday. Earlier, Baghdad gave the Kurdistan Regional Government time until Friday to hand over control of its airports or face an international air embargo.