Dust storm closes Baghdad International Airport

Baghdad International Airport has suspended navigation, as a result of a dust storm that hit large parts of Iraq.

The airport administration said in a statement: "We would like to make it clear to all our valued passengers and airlines operating at the airport that air traffic has been suspended for this Sunday, due to weather conditions and visibility of 450 meters."

The statement added: "You will be informed of the nature of any developments related to air traffic at the airport."

Dust storms have increased in Iraq during the last two months, with their occurrence almost weekly.

Experts attribute it to climate change, lack of rain and desertification. Iraq is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change and desertification in the world, especially due to the increasing drought with high temperatures that exceed fifty degrees Celsius for days in the summer.

According to the Iraqi Ministry of Environment, increasing the vegetation cover and planting dense trees that serve as windbreaks are the most important solutions needed to reduce the rate of sandstorms.

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