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Over 6,500 families flee Ramadi amidst IS attack

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Monday that close to 6,500 families in Ramadi, Iraq, have been dislocated as the Islamic State (IS) militant group has reached the city.

As reported by Xinhua News Agency, Farhan Haq said, “Among the 6,500 families that have fled Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s largest province Anbar, over 3,300 families have moved towards the Fallujah area and more than 2,300 families travelled towards the Khalidiyah area.”

“Khaldiyah Hospital has reported receiving many casualties, and the local authorities have requested assistance from the international agencies”, Haq added.

“UN agencies and humanitarian partners have responded by dispatching food rations, family food packages, tents, sanitation and water kits, conducting joint delivery missions and assessing the needs of families who have fled to safety”.

The IS took complete control over the city on Sunday.

It was reported that on Monday the security force of Iraq, along with the Shia and Sunni militants were preparing for a massive counter-attack to reclaim Ramadi.

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Iraq lifts ban on international flights to Kurdish airports

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Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
  • Iraq lifts the ban on international flights to Kurdish airports
  • Prime minister, Haider al-Abadi issues a statement
  • He also talked about security o the airports

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on international flights to two airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

A statement by his office said Abadi signed a decree to lift the ban after receiving positive response from the Kurdish local authorities “to restore the federal authority in the two airports in accordance with the Constitution of Iraq”.

Also Read: US Backtracks on Iraqi, Kurd Cease-fire Claim

Abadi made the announcement during his meeting with the officers of the regional Interior Ministry who were working at the two airports, Xinhua news agency cited the statement as saying.

He also said that a new security directorate will be established to protect the airports in the Kurdish region and it will be under command and control of the federal Interior Ministry.

All the regional airports and border crossings will be linked directly to the main control system in Baghdad, similar to what is done in the other Iraqi airports and crossing, the statement said.

He also talked about the security of airports.

The passports and national ID offices and the employees at the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah will also be linked to the federal Interior Ministry, it added.

Tensions rose between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum last September to approve the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.

The Iraqi government later imposed the flights ban on the Kurdish region as part of a package of punitive measures that also included blocking all the border crossings outside the federal control.

The ban on international flights on the region’s international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah forced passengers to apply for an Iraqi visa to transit through Baghdad and Basra international airports to go or leave the Kurdish region.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by other countries as it would threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against the terror group Islamic State.

Iraq’s neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurds’ pursuit of independence threatens their own territorial integrity by inspiring the Kurdish population in those countries to seek independence. IANS

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