Revoked Permits for Flight Into Kurdish Capital
The Iraqi government has blocked a Turkish government plane from entering Iraqi airspace today, despite the plane having already been giving all flight permits and its passenger, the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, having planned the visit well in advance.
The plane was already en route to Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), for a meeting with KRG officials, when Iraqi officials ordered them to turn the plane around in mid-air and return to Turkey.
Iraqi government officials are downplaying the incident, saying Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an edict just hours earlier that all planes headed to Irbil are required to land in Baghdad first to be searched. Normally a plane with a foreign government’s minister would be exempt from this sort of rule.
Yet it reflects both the growing tensions between the KRG and the Iraqi central government as well as Iraq and the Turkish government. An energy ministry visit might’ve been particularly annoying since Turkey has been buying oil directly from the KRG over Maliki’s objections.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster Named National Security Adviser - February 20th, 2017
- Sen. Graham: 2017 Is the 'Year of Kicking Russia in the Ass' - February 19th, 2017
- Trump: Gulf States Will Pay for Syria Safe Zones - February 19th, 2017
- Race to Raqqa Puts ISIS Enemies at Odds With One Another - February 19th, 2017
- Syrian Rocket Fire Hits Funeral Outside Damascus, Killing 16 Civilians - February 19th, 2017