September 29, 2017 / 2:25 PM / a year ago

Last international flight before air ban departs Iraqi Kurdistan's Erbil airport

ERBIL, Iraq, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The last international flight from Erbil airport before a ban on imposed by the Iraqi government begins took off at about 5:00 pm (1400 GMT), an airport official said.

The Zagrosjet flight was heading to Istanbul, he said.

The ban takes effect at 1500 GMT.

It is meant to force the Kurdistan Regional Government, in retaliation for an independence referendum it held on Monday, to hand over control of Erbil and Sulaimaniya, its two international airports, to the Baghdad government.

Reporting by Raya Jalabi; editing by John Stonestreet

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