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Report: Iraq didn't let Turkish plane land

Feb. 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Iraq, for the second time since December, refused to allow a Turkish plane to land -- this time an air ambulance on a mercy mission -- officials in Turkey said.

The plane was denied permission to land in Kirkuk and pick up some of the 75 Kurdish victims of a Jan. 23 assault by Arabs in the Iraqi city of Tuz Khurmatu, the officials said in a report from Today's Zaman.

The victims were to be taken to Ankara, Turkey, for further treatment, the report said.

Iraqi officials cited bad weather as a reason for denying the plane permission to land, the Turkish officials said.

Relations between Iraq and Turkey have deteriorated since Turkish officials signed an oil agreement with officials of the Kurdish region without seeking the approval of the Iraqi government, the report said.

In December, a plane carrying Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız was denied permission to land in Arbil, where he was to attend an energy conference.

Iraq has barred all private planes from flying to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of the country, the report said.

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