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Last flight departs as Iraq imposes ban for Kurdish independence vote

ERBIL, Iraq/ANKARA – The last international flight left Erbil airport on Friday as the Baghdad government imposed an air ban on Iraqi Kurdistan in retaliation for an independence vote that has drawn widespread opposition from foreign powers.

 

Iraq's Kurds overwhelmingly backed independence in Monday's referendum, defying neighboring countries, which fear the vote could lead to renewed conflict in the region.

 

Foreign airlines suspended flights to Erbil and Sulaimaniya in the autonomous region, obeying a notice from the government in Baghdad, which controls Iraqi air space.