On Saturday Iraqi Airways announced in a press release that the Iraqi Transport Ministry is carrying out its fourth evacuation flight for Iraqi citizens stranded on the Polish-Belarusian border. The Iraqi Airlines planes are travelling from Minsk towards Erbil and Baghdad airports. It was reported that 420 people travelled on the flight. In total, after performing four flights, the carrier evacuated 1,458 Iraqi citizens from Belarus.
Iraqi authorities expect more groups of migrants to return to the country. Further evacuation flights for these people are being prepared. “They are close to implementing official approvals," the press release emphasised.
The evacuation action was broadcast live on Kurdistan24 television. In an interview with the broadcaster, one of the passengers on a flight to Iraq, compared what was happening to migrants in Belarus with the actions of terrorists from the so-called Islamic State. He also warned everyone not to fly to Belarus, because “there is a complete catastrophe there”.
The man said that the Belarusian police tortured immigrants. “I hope no one gets fooled by the smugglers' lies and falls into their traps,” he admitted.
Iraqis constitute the vast majority of migrants who have been brought by the Belarusian authorities to Minsk in recent weeks to be transferred to the border with Lithuania, and then with Poland.
Some airlines from the Middle East have since suspended flights to Belarus, while others do not allow residents of Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan to board their flights to this country.
Both the United States and the European Union countries condemned The Belarusian’s regime hybrid operation and found it unacceptable to exploit migrants.