On Thursday, the Iraqi Federal government announced that it will impose a now fly-zone over the Iraqi Kurdistan Region starting from Friday according to Iraqi Sources. The authorities of the Erbil International Airport – main airport of the Kurdistan Region – confirmed in an official statement that a No-Fly zone will be indeed imposed within 24 house.
“The imposition of a ‘no fly zone for Kurdistan’s airports will bring hardship to the region. It will impact the fight against ISIS, and will impact the work of the UN and other Non-Governmental Organizations in their support of the 1.5m plus refugees and IDP’s in Kurdistan,” Erbil International Airport Director General, Talar Faiq said in the statement.
Faiq described the Iraqi Federal Government orders to hand over Erbil and Sulimanyah airports as a “shame”. Moreover, the statement stressed that Erbil International Airport is “seeking further dialogue with the authorities in Baghdad, regarding its determination to see both Erbil and Sulimanyah airports ‘handed over'”.
“We would appeal to Baghdad to step back from its proposed actions and consider the consequences for the war against ISIS, the care of so many displaced people and the real impact on the Kurdish people,” Said Faiq said.
Meanwhile, Kurdish and Iraqi sources confirmed that foreigners begin to leave the Kurdistan Region ahead of the upcoming establishment of No-Fly zone. It’s very unlikely that the Iraqi Federal Government may not agree to any form of negotiations with the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) or any of its institutions before officially ending the Kurdistan Region independence project.
In a related development, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi office announced in an official statement that the prime minister agreed with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to coordinate economic and oil exports after a phone call on Thursday.
By this, the KRG may lost its main income sources, and it is very unlikely that any other neighboring country will accept to export of the Kurdistan Region oil without the approval of the Iraqi Federal Government.
An official statement of Turkey Prime Minister Yildirim also confirmed that “commitment to cooperate and coordinate fully with the Iraqi government to implement all necessary steps for imposing of federal authorities at land and air ports.”
Moreover, Reuters reported that Yildirim said on Thursday that Turkey, Iran and Iraq may hold a trilateral meeting to discuss the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum.
The coordinated measures between Iraq, Tukey and Iran will likely have catastrophic effects on the Kurdistan Region economy. So far the KRG appears to be “surprised” by the reaction of the Iraqi Federal government, Iran and Turkey. The joint effort of the three countries combined with the international and regional support for them will likely result in the end of the Kurdistan Region independence project peacfully.