• Baghdad

  • Friday, February 2, 2024 at 5:50:11 AM
    Last Update : Monday, February 12, 2024 at 12:02 PM

Iraq’s Fly Baghdad to Appeal Against U.S. Sanctions

(AWP) - A senior official at Iraqi’s Fly Baghdad airline said that the company’s board of lawyers abroad were preparing an appeal against its name being included on a U.S. sanctions list, which forced it to stop its flights late last week.

Nameer Al-Qaisi, Fly Baghdad’s Aviation Security Manager, told the Arab World Press (AWP) that the company was still waiting for “other decisions” to be issued from a committee set up by the Iraqi government to consider the case.

The airline’s flights have been stopped since Thursday, after the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that the company and its CEO were included on a list of sanctioned entities, on charges of supporting the Quds Force, an offshoot of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The bill of indictment also includes support for groups cooperating with the IRGC in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Lebanon.

Fly Baghdad denied the accusations, saying in a statement that they were “not based on any physical evidence.”

Al-Qaisi told AWP that the company was preparing to resume its flights on Thursday.

“We are preparing an appeal against the U.S. Treasury decision. Our company’s board of lawyers abroad have started the necessary procedures. The Iraqi government has set up a committee that has given us five days to stop our operations. Later on, other decisions will be issued by this committee,” he said.

Al-Qaisi did not mention the losses incurred by the company as a result of this decision, but said “the moral losses were more than the financial, particularly the company’s reputation.”

“The decision to stop the company’s activities impacted passengers who had work commitments, treatment and hospital schedules, studying, and hajj and umrah. All of these are losses that cannot be easily compensated,” he noted.

Fly Baghdad said in a statement that the company could not refund the money for the canceled tickets or passengers’ reservations, due to its current inability to handle its bank accounts.