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Iraq demands Turkey apologise over attack on Sulaymaniyah airport

Al Jazeera

The Iraqi government has called on Turkey to apologise for an attack on an airport in the country's northern Kurdish region, denouncing what it called a "flagrant aggression" against its sovereignty in the area. The demand on Saturday came as a Turkish defence ministry official told the Reuters news agency that no Turkish Armed Forces operation had taken place in that region in recent days. Iraq's presidency said the attack on Friday took place in the vicinity of the Sulaymaniyah airport in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. It blamed Turkey for the attack and said Ankara had no legal justification to continue "intimidating civilians under the pretext that forces hostile to it are present on Iraqi soil". "In this regard we call on the Turkish government to take responsibility and present an official apology," it said. Turkey, which has spent decades fighting Kurdish armed groups in its east, has conducted several military operations including air raids in northern Iraq and northern Syria against Kurdish-led forces there.

Airstrike on northern Iraq military airport kills 3

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on An airstrike on a military airport in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region killed three people Monday, local officials said. The region's counter-terrorism service said in a statement that the attack on the Arbat Airport, 28 kilometers southeast of the city of Suleimaniyah killed three of its personnel and injured three members of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The airport had recently undergone rehabilitation to facilitate the training of anti-terror units affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two often-competing main parties in the region, whose seat of power is in Sulaymaniyah.

Uncertainty among Kurds as polls open

Al Jazeera

Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq - Walk into a cafe in the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Erbil, strike up a conversation about the referendum, and you will find customer after customer waxing lyrical about voting "yes" to the region's bid for independence. Finding a "no" voter, or someone who will boycott the vote altogether is near impossible in the Kurdish region's capital of Erbil, controlled by President Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). In the city, voters largely see the referendum as history in the making and an opportunity to rid the region of a fraught and deadly shared history with Iraq. Much of the Iraqi-Kurdish minority's animosity stems back to an "Arabisation" campaign led by late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baathist government, which aimed to shift the demographics in favour of the country's Sunni population. As a result, the decades-long campaign displaced hundreds of thousands of minorities, including Kurds, Turkmen, and Christian Yazidis.

Northern Iraq rocked by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

Al Jazeera

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, near the border with Iran, with shockwaves felt as far away as Qatar. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said Sunday's quake hit close to Halabjah, southeast of Sulaymaniyah, a city in the Iraqi region administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The tremor struck at 21:18 local time (18:18) GMT, and its epicentre was at a depth of 33.9km. Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, said cars came to a standstill as the buildings began to sway.

Turkey closes airspace to flights from Suleimaniyah International Airport in northern Iraq

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Turkey has closed its airspace to flights to and from an airport in Kurdish-administered northern Iraq, a top Turkish official announced Wednesday, citing an alleged increase in Kurdish militant activity threatening flight safety. The airspace was closed Monday to flights taking off from and landing at Suleimaniyah International Airport, in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanju Bilgic said. The closure was a response to an alleged increase in the activities of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in the city of Suleimaniyah, including its "infiltration" of the airport, Bilgic said in a written statement. Bilgic said the Turkish airspace would remain closed until July 3, when Turkish authorities would review the security situation.