Following Qatar, Iraq also resumes Syria flights after 8 years


Baghdad. Iraq Airways, the national carrier of Iraq, says it is resuming commercial flights to the Syrian capital, Damascus, for the first time since 2011, when foreign-backed militants started to wreak havoc in the neighboring country.

Layth al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the airline, said on Thursday that Iraq Airways will operate a weekly service from Baghdad to Damascus as of Saturday.

The development comes nearly a month after the Syrian government agreed to a request by the Qatari civil aviation authority to allow planes of Qatar Airways to fly over Syria.

“Transport Minister Ali Hammoud has agreed to allow Qatar Airways to cross Syrian airspace, based on a request from the Qatari civil aviation authority,” the Syrian Ministry of Transport said in a statement released late on April 22.

Doha severed ties with Damascus in the wake of the foreign-backed militancy in Syria, and supported the so-called armed opposition groups in the conflict-plagued Arab country.