MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iraqi authorities have extended by two months September’s ban on international flights to the breakaway Kurdistan region after its vote for independence, local media reported Wednesday.
"It is unfortunate that the Iraqi government issued this decision while we were expecting talks to begin to solve the problems," Kurdish acting Transport Minister Mawlud Bawamurad told the outlet.
Military, diplomatic, humanitarian and UN flights are reportedly exempted but subject to approval by the Iraqi government.
More than 90 percent of Kurds voted in September in favor of the autonomy's secession from Iraq. Baghdad called the referendum illegal and launched a military operation to recapture the Kurdish-held disputed areas of the country, also imposing sanctions on Kurdish authorities.