President Barzani asks Russia to stop “making problems for region's airline”Source : http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/081220151
By Yerevan Saeed 8/12/2015
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – President Masoud Barzani said the Kurdistan region is welcoming any attacks against the Islamic State, but Russian attacks are hurting the region by closing its airports.
“This issue needs to be solved and we ask Russia not to make problems for Kurdistan Region's airline,” Barzani announced during a press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday.
He said the Kurdistan Regional Government is in contact with Baghdad to resolve the problem of suspended flights at the International airports of Erbil and Sulaimani provinces due to Russian missile attacks against ISIS in Syria.
Barzani has welcomed Russian help for Peshmerga forces but said Russia has not yet been an active supporter.
“So far (Russia) has only sent a minimal number of weapons,” Barzani said.
Baghdad asked on late Sunday that the airports in Erbil and Sulaimani halt all flights for 48 hours in order to protect the safety of travelers.
“We have been informed by Baghdad to halt the flights because of Russian jets attacking Daesh (ISIS) in Syria. This is for the safety of travelers,” Talar Faiyq, head of Erbil International Airport, told Rudaw late Sunday.
She said all flights were halted for Monday and Tuesday and will not resume at least until Wednesday. This is the second time in less than a month that Baghdad halted flights in the Kurdistan region due to Russian attacks in northern Iraq airspace.
KRG Demands Russian Missiles Avoid Kurdistan AirspaceSource : http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/kurdistan/247643
We support all military operations against terrorists, says KRG
2 days ago | Reports
ERBIL – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) asked Russia on Wednesday to find an alternative route “as soon as possible” for its cruise missiles targeting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.
In its statement on Wednesday, the KRG said that in recent weeks both Erbil International Airport (EIA) and Suleimaniyah International Airport have been closed twice by Iraqi aviation authorities due to Russian rockets passing through the Kurdistan Region’s airspace to target jihadists in Syria.
“We support all military operations against terrorists [IS], but those operations should not cause both Erbil and Suleimaniyah airports to be closed,” read the statement.
It is also mentioned in the statement that the closure of both airports without consultation between the KRG and Iraqi federal government does not only cause problem for tourists in the Region, but it also leads to financial damage to both airports, and the economic and business sectors of the Kurdistan Region in general.
The head of Kurdistan Region Council of Ministers Nechirvan Barzani is concerned about the situation and has officially asked Russia to improve communication with the Iraqi federal government and the KRG, and find an alternative route for its rockets “as soon as possible” instead of using the Kurdistan Region’s airspace.
The statement points out the financial crisis in the Kurdistan Region due to the IS war and blockade of the Kurdistan Region’s budget share by Baghdad.
“The closure of Kurdistan airports will create another crisis for the Region and it is unlikely that Iraqi federal government will compensate the Kurdistan Region’s losses.”
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