BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese airline official says the country’s flagship carrier airline will halt its flights to and from Irbil, the capital in Iraq’s Kurdish region.
The official says Wednesday the Middle East Airlines flights will be halted starting Friday.
The decision comes after the Kurdish region claimed victory in an independence referendum that has been vehemently rejected by Baghdad and Iraq’s other neighbors.
Iraq’s prime minister had ordered the Kurdish region to hand over control of its airports to federal authorities or face a flight ban.
The Lebanese airline has one flight per day to Irbil. The official said all flights coming from Irbil will also not be allowed to land in Beirut’s International airport. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.