Flights between Turkey, Iraq suspended another month

Flights between the two countries won't resume before Oct. 1 amid reports of rising coronavirus cases.

al-monitor Baghdad International Airport is pictured following its reopening on July 23, 2020, after a closure forced by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 illness in Iraq.  Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images.

Aug 31, 2020

Turkey's flight suspension to and from Iraq has been extended through October 1, Iraq’s civil aviation authority announced Monday amid a rising number of coronavirus cases.

Turkey has resumed some international air travel, but in early August it suspended flights with Iraq through Sept. 1 citing recommendations from its Health Ministry. In Monday’s announcement, the Civil Aviation Ministry in Iraq did not give a reason why the ban was extended another month.

In Iraq, airports were closed to international passengers in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. In July, Baghdad reopened its airport to commercial flights for the first time in five months.

Malls also reopened last month, but most restaurants remain closed and an overnight curfew is still in place. The Iraqi Health Ministry recently warned of "disastrous consequences" if social distancing and other preventative measures weren’t abided by.

Amid the easing of restrictions, the virus continues to spread in Iraq. Health authorities registered 3,757 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, pushing the total number of infections to 234,934. Of that number, the country has reported 7,042 deaths.

Turkey on Friday recorded its highest single-day toll since May. The health minister, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, said on Sunday that 1,482 more patients have been diagnosed, bringing the total number to 268,546.

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