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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.

This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to

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News January 2016
Written by Kim Helfrich, Friday, 22 January 2016

Last year South Africa lost 1,175 rhino to poachers – 40 less than 2014’s all-time high of 1,215 – which Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa this week said was the first decrease in a decade.
Speaking in Pretoria she said the slight decrease in rhino poaching signalled “stabilisation” in the national rhino poaching situation.

As always, the Kruger National Park remains the favoured target for poachers because of its size and that it borders Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The iconic game reserve last year lost 826 rhino which, Molewa said, indicated an “about 10% increase “ in poaching activity in Kruger.

She also pointed out the by-now common year-end spike in rhino poaching did not happen in December attributing this to the efforts of “our people, particularly our law enforcement agencies”.

Last year saw 317 suspects arrested in connection with rhino poaching well up from 2014’s 258. Two hundred and two suspects were arrested in Kruger.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Friday for a bomb attack that killed nine people in Cairo.

In a statement on social media, it said its fighters carried out the operation that killed six policemen and three others during a raid on a booby-trapped home on Thursday near the site of Egypt's pyramids.

Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have died.

Islamic State's Egypt affiliate is leading a stubborn Sinai-based insurgency that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi describes as an existential threat to the country.

Egyptian authorities have been tightening security ahead of the fifth anniversary on Monday of the uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

Sisi's government denies accusations by human rights groups that security forces are guilty of widespread human rights abuses that create more Islamist radical enemies of the state.


Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

A crisis in Burundi that has left hundreds dead must be resolved by dialogue, U.N. Security Council diplomats told Burundi officials on Friday, after rebels raised the stakes by declaring a general who led a failed coup in May now led their force.

Thursday's announcement by the rebel group, FOREBU, that it was now commanded by the former intelligence chief, General Godefroid Niyombare, deepens concerns that Burundi is sliding back into conflict after its ethnically charged civil war ended in 2005.

The United Nations estimates the death toll at 439 people but says it could be higher. More than 240,000 people have fled abroad.

"The fighting has to stop and the killings have to stop," deputy French ambassador to the United Nations, Alexis Lamek, told Reuters after diplomats met Burundi's foreign minister, Alain Nyamitwe, adding that dialogue was "the only way".

Diplomats from the 15-member council arrived in Burundi on Thursday evening and are scheduled to meet President Pierre Nkurunziza later on Friday.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

On December 17, 2010, a young, desperate Tunisian vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in a suicide protest over unemployment and police abuse that spread revolt across the Arab world.

Five years on, Ridha Yahyaoui, another young Tunisian, has killed himself in frustration after being refused a job, inflaming protests through the same impoverished towns that once brought down the regime of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

If Tunisia was hailed as the success story of the Arab Spring revolts for its democratic progress, it has also become an example of the dangers in failing to tackle economic malaise, alienation and frustrations of North African youth.

In Kasserine, the impoverished central city where this week's protests began, more disaffected young men have threatened to kill themselves. Two were injured after trying to throw themselves off the roof of the local government building in fits of anger over the lack of jobs.

The unrest has quickly spread to other towns in the north and south of the country and shows no signs of weakening -- protesters have stormed police stations and local government offices and killed one policeman. Tunis has been mostly calm, but sporadic rioting hit two poor districts on Thursday night.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

Hundreds of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, gang rapes, sexual slavery, forced abortion, massive child soldier recruitment and indiscriminate attacks against civilians with entire villages burned down have been perpetrated by all in sides in war-torn South Sudan, the United Nations reports.
“The constant attacks on women, the rape, enslavement and slaughter of innocents; the recruitment of thousands upon thousands of child soldiers; the deliberate displacement of vast numbers of people in such a harsh and poverty-stricken country – these are abhorrent practices that must be halted,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, whose Office (OHCHR) compiled the report along with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The country, which gained independence in 2009 after breaking away from Sudan, its northern neighbour, was thrown into turmoil when conflict erupted between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar in December 2013, killing thousands, displacing over 2.4 million people, 650,000 of whom fled abroad, and impacting the food security of 4.6 million.

“Very few places in areas of conflict have been safe, as the parties have intentionally attacked traditional safe havens, such as places of worship, hospitals and, from time to time, United Nations bases,” the report said. “These attacks reveal a shocking disregard for civilian life, with an increasing number of armed groups and communities involved in the violence.”

From the middle of 2015, a new pattern emerged, particularly in the central and southern counties of Unity state, with entire villages being burned down, food crops destroyed and livestock looted, amid indications this may have been a deliberate strategy by the Government or army to deprive civilians of any source of livelihood and force their

Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

After confronting serious technical and economic difficulties, Russia has dramatically cut back its air force program to field its first stealth fighter jet. By delaying large-scale acquisition of the Sukhoi T-50 fighter, the Kremlin is tacitly acknowledging a truth that the U.S. military learned decades ago — and that China might also learn in coming years: developing stealth fighters is hard.

But fortunately for the Russian air force, and unfortunately for Washington and its allied air arms that are Russia’s chief rivals, Moscow has a backup plan. Instead of counting on a new stealth jet to outfit its fighter squadrons, the Russian government is buying heavily upgraded versions of older planes — an approach the Pentagon has dismissed as wasteful. It could, however, help Russia maintain its aerial edge.

The T-50, like practically all stealth aircraft before it, has proved expensive to develop, although exactly how expensive remains a closely guarded secret. Radar-evading warplanes require careful design work, extensive testing and exotic materials for their construction — all features that can double or triple their cost compared to conventional, non-stealthy planes.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 22 January 2016

Suspected loyalists of Burkina Faso's deposed President Blaise Compaore seized weapons in an overnight raid on an armoury in the capital, security sources said on Friday.

The arms theft comes less than a week after al Qaeda fighters killed 30 people in a restaurant and hotel popular with foreigners in Ouagadougou, exposing the security challenges facing new President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Two military sources said gunmen arrived at the weapons depot at around 4 a.m. on Friday and overpowered the security detail on duty. There were no casualties, but the assailants carried off an unknown quantity of weapons.

The sources said at least one of the attackers was recognised as a member of Compaore's elite Presidential Security Regiment (RSP), which was disarmed and dissolved last year after the ex-leader's spy chief General Gilbert Diendere used them to mount a failed coup.

Diendere has been charged with crimes including treason.

Government spokesman Remi Dandjin, part of a new cabinet named only last week, confirmed the attack but said he was not able to give details other than that gendarmes and police had secured the zone.

Compaore was driven from power and forced to flee Burkina Faso in Oct. 2014 amid a popular uprising opposed to his attempt to alter the constitution and extend his 27-year rule. He lives in exile in neighbouring Ivory Coast.


Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 22 January 2016

South Africa’s Special Forces have acquired a Guardrunner watercraft for evaluation purposes and may purchase at least half a dozen as part of their drive to extend the service’s maritime capability.

The Guardrunner was supplied by Southern Power, part of the Nautic Group. The watercraft has been designed to cater to the special forces market where search and rescue (SAR) and military encounters require specialised platforms.

Nautic said the watercraft responded well to both calm inshore as well as windy choppy waters further offshore during sea trials. Jacques Brummer, CEO of Southern Power Products, told defenceWeb that sea trials took place in December 2015, and that the Guardrunner was handed over to Special Forces in late December.

Special Forces are currently preparing the watercraft for trials, firstly establishing all the required protocols and training material to successfully introduce the Guardrunner into service. Brummer is confident that the Guardrunner will exceed expectations in terms of performance and fit for purpose that will culminate in further orders of the Guardrunners to be placed in over the next 12 months.

The Guardrunner is based on a common platform with the RescueRunner developed in Sweden by the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. Special Forces approached Safe at Sea AB, which manufactures the watercraft, to evaluate the type. Subsequent to this, Southern Power last year acquired the distribution rights for the RescueRunner/Guardrunner across Sub Saharan Africa. Brummer told defenceWeb that the Guardrunner, and RescueRunner, will be offered to other potential clients, throughout the region.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 21 January 2016

The U.N. Security Council decided on Wednesday to reduce the number of U.N. peacekeepers in Ivory Coast, citing considerable progress in stabilizing the West African country where a civil war erupted five years ago.

The 15-nation council unanimously approved a resolution that called for decreasing the maximum number of blue-helmeted peacekeepers to 4,000 from 5,437 by the end of March.

The council's move came after Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara won a second five-year term in October.

Ivory Coast emerged from a decade of political turmoil in 2011 following a brief civil war sparked by former President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to recognize Ouattara's victory in an election in late 2010.

Ouattara has won plaudits for reviving the economy of the world's top cocoa producer, which has grown by an average of about 9 percent over the past four years.

Rights groups accuse his government, however, of pursuing a policy of victors' justice in which they say Gbagbo's allies are prosecuted while alleged crimes committed during the war by Ouattara's backers go unpunished.


Written by ISS Africa, Thursday, 21 January 2016

Next week, the annual African Union (AU) Summit takes place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. Not generally an event which generates ground-breaking policy, this summit could (and should) be historic: it will be the first time that heads of state will vote on the deployment of an AU-led peacekeeping force to a country that has not agreed to its deployment.

That country is Burundi, and the decision to deploy was made by the 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 17 December last year.

Burundi has been sliding towards ever greater instability since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to push forward with a third mandate last year.

Nkurunziza’s interpretation of the constitution – he argued that he is entitled to a third term because his first one was a special, post-transition mandate – was contested by civil society and the political opposition, and sparked widespread protests ahead of the June/July election.

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News December 2015
Written by Reuters, Friday, 18 December 2015

The signing of a long-delayed peace deal between Libya's warring factions has been pushed back again to Thursday because of logistical problems, a U.N. spokesman said on Wednesday.

Representatives from Libya's two rival factions were due to agree the U.N.-backed accord on Wednesday after months of wrangling and opposition from hardliners in both camps.

The pact called for a unity government to bring together two rival administrations and parliaments that have emerged four years after revolt ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

"It (the signing) will be delayed for logically reasons until tomorrow," the U.N. spokesman said.

Libya has one internationally-recognized administration in the east and a self-declared one that took over the capital after fighting erupted last year. Each is backed by competing armed factions.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 18 December 2015

The United Nations Security Council approved on Tuesday the deployment of a further 1,100 peacekeepers to South Sudan amid concerns from Russia and Venezuela over the threat of sanctions and the possible use of spy drones by the U.N. mission.

The 15-member council extended the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan until July 31, 2016. It adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution with 13 votes in favor, while Russia and Venezuela abstained.

The resolution also urged the United Nations to deploy surveillance drones and threatens sanctions on anyone threatening the peace, security and stability of South Sudan.

"We consider the wording formulated as an ultimatum regarding sanctions on South Sudan to be counterproductive," said Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador, Petr Iliichev, who also raised doubts about the value of peacekeepers using spy drones.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 18 December 2015

Burundi has dismissed criticism of its security forces, saying they acted professionally after insurgents attacked military bases in the capital, and also said there was no need to send foreign peacekeepers to the African nation.

The U.N. Security Council has considered actions that include sending a peacekeeping force to deal with Burundi's crisis, which pits supporters of President Pierre Nkurunziza against those opposed to his third term in office.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council last month that Burundi was on the brink of war but said there was no immediate need to deploy a U.N. peacekeeping force, encouraging the council to choose other options.

In the latest flare-up, gunmen attacked military bases on Friday. The U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said on Tuesday the authorities had responded with house searches, arrests and alleged summary executions. The fighting killed almost 90 people.

"The security forces intervened with the greatest possible professionalism," the government said in a statement late on Tuesday. "It would therefore be irrelevant to talk of bringing foreign forces into Burundi."

Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 17 December 2015

Southern African Shipyards CEO Prasheen Maharaj believes there is a lot to be positive about regarding South Africa’s maritime industry, which experienced a tough time in 2015.

“Things have been tough for a while now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, the industry just has to adapt and put itself in a position to capitalise once the good days roll on,” Maharaj said.

Southern African Shipyards (SAS) said that prospects have not been good for the industry, including SAS, which is slowly coming out of a “really tough” last 24 months.

“Overall for the industry it has been a relatively poor year, especially for the ship repairers and our ship repair division faired none the better. In fact, for ship repair it has been one of the most appalling years in the history of the industry,” Maharaj said.

“When Tier One ship repairers take a knock, the entire value chain becomes severely depressed, leading to the closure of smaller suppliers, layoffs and retrenchments, business rescue and liquidations. We have seen too much of these incidents this year,” he said.

Written by Oscar Nkala, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Chinese government has donated 40 new vehicles and equipment to improve the counter-poaching and conservation capabilities of Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA).

The donation comes as the authority fights a losing battle against the use of cyanide and termic poisons to kill elephants by poachers in a scourge that has claimed more than 100 elephants and other scavenger species in four national parks since late September.

Environment, Water and Climate minister Opah Muchinguri commissioned the 10 four-wheel drive double cab patrol vans, 8 heavy duty trucks, 8 tractors, 7 single-cab pick-up, ten graders and 3 dump trucks, spares and accessories after handover by Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping.

All the vehicles are Foton Motors models. The donations also includes 30 solar power chargers, hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) handsets, telescopes, flash-lights and military boots for use by game rangers while on patrol.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Egypt said on Monday it would hire a foreign company to help improve the country's airport security, seen as a weak link in the air safety chain since a Russian plane crashed in the Sinai on Oct. 31.

The government said in a statement that it had found no evidence so far of terrorism or other illegal action linked to the crash of the Russian passenger plane in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.

Russia and several Western states have said the Airbus A321 operated by Metrojet was likely brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive on board.

The plane took off from Sharm al-Sheikh, a Red Sea resort popular with Russian and British holiday makers. Those two countries have suspended flights to the destination and Egypt's tourism industry in general has suffered.

The government said in a statement that Egyptian officials recently met with several international companies and one would be chosen.

But Egypt's civil aviation ministry said it had completed a preliminary report on the crash which had so far found no evidence of a criminal act.

Egypt is facing a two-year Islamist insurgency in the Sinai that killed hundreds of soldiers and police. Islamic State said the bombing was in response to Russian air strikes in Syria.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Burundi has moved closer to civil war after insurgents attacked military camps in the capital last week and authorities responded with house searches, arrests and alleged summary executions, the U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday.

Fighting in Bujumbura last week killed almost 90 people, the worst clashes since a military coup was foiled in May.

It follows months of sporadic violence and assassinations, mostly in the capital, between supporters and opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The crisis in Burundi alarms Western powers, who worry it may slide back into conflict after emerging from an ethnically fuelled civil war 10 years ago. They fear it could destabilise a region where memories of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda are still raw.

"With this latest series of bloody events, the country seems to have taken a new step towards outright civil war and tensions are now at bursting point in Bujumbura," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Fresh from a Rome summit on Libya's crisis, American, European and U.N. officials are confidently backing a proposed peace deal between the country's warring factions to end chaos that has allowed Islamic State to flourish.

Libyan delegates from different groups plan to sign up on Wednesday to the agreement to form a unity government and seek a ceasefire - a decision Western powers hope will create the momentum to pull recalcitrant opponents along.

But if world leaders needed an indication of the multiple challenges to implementing a deal on the ground, they need only look at security arrangements in the capital Tripoli to see how complex it could become.

With Libya having no real national army, at least seven armed brigades are entrenched in the city, under semi-official control of the defence or interior ministries, some supporting the U.N. accord, others allied to political leaders opposing it.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Nigeria's former National Security Adviser and four other people were charged with 19 counts of money laundering and criminal breach of trust amounting to 13.570 billion naira ($68.2 million) on Monday in the Abuja high court, the financial crimes agency said.

Sambo Dasuki, served as adviser under former President Goodluck Jonathan, who lost an election this year election to Muhammadu Buhari, who is bent on rooting out widespread corruption in the West African nation.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement that Dasuki was charged among others with Shuaibu Salisu. who was the director of finance and administration in his office.

The main charge alleges that 10 billion naira out of the total was used to fund the previous administration's election campaign in an agreement between Dasuki, Salisu and a presidential assistant now on the run, the EFCC said.

The defendants pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned until Tuesday for a bail hearing.

Dasuki was arrested on Dec. 1 in relation to an investigation into a $2 billion arms deal. Buhari called for his arrest in November, accusing him of stealing funds through phantom arms contracts and hampering the fight against the Islamist jihadi group Boko Haram.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Voters defied a day of armed clashes in Central African Republic to have their say on a new constitution seen as vital to ending violence in a hastily arranged second session of polling on Monday.

At least five people were killed and 34 others wounded, according to a Red Cross official, in clashes in the capital Bangui on Sunday during what was intended to be a single day of voting.

Approval of the new constitution would pave the way for long-delayed presidential and legislative elections on Dec. 27, and armed groups opposed to the process also used violence and threats to impede polling elsewhere in the landlocked nation.

The military commander of Central African Republic's U.N. peacekeeping mission said repeated attacks on a polling station in PK5, the city's main Muslim enclave on Sunday, were an attempt by "spoilers" to block the vote.

While there were reports of some disruption on Monday, voting was peaceful compared with Sunday.

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News November 2015
Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 09 November 2015

While the issuing of a Request for Information (RFI) by Armscor is the start of a long and often convoluted process toward eventual acquisition someone who is not happy about the information request for a new inter-continental VIP aircraft for the South African government is Helmoed Heitman.
The respected military analyst said it would be “deeply stupid” for South Africa to acquire a dedicated long range VIP aircraft.

Armscor announced the start of the acquisition process with the RFI and gave the closing date as November 20. Dr Sam Gulube, secretary for defence, told City Press that the Department of Defence had asked Armscor to procure a VIP jet for President Jacob Zuma. Aircraft specific requirements were submitted to his office by the SA Air Force.

He is reported as saying “we don’t know how much it’s going to cost. Any talk about cost of such a capability is unfounded, groundless and baseless. Armscor has requested information and will only know once that information is received”.

The published request is for an aircraft capable of carrying at least 30 passengers and with a range of 13 800km. This would allow the aircraft to fly to either Moscow or New York, as examples, without having to land for refuelling. The aircraft must have a private bedroom suite and conference facilities for at least eight people, according to the RFI.

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News January 2015
Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Libya.Libya's warring factions who operate rival governments have agreed "in principle" to hold future talks to end the crisis in Libya, moving the negotiations away from Geneva, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Some of the opposing factions met in Geneva earlier this month under the auspices of the United Nations, but key representatives from a Tripoli-based government and parliament stayed away, demanding the dialogue be held within Libya.

"There was agreement on the principle of convening future dialogue sessions in Libya, provided that logistical and security conditions are available," the U.N. Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement after another round of talks in Geneva this week.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Catherine Samba-Panza.The government of Central African Republic said on Thursday it rejected a ceasefire deal made in Kenya between two militia groups aimed at ending more than a year of clashes and attacks in which thousands have died.

Few details have emerged about the talks between the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance and the 'anti-balaka' militia who oppose them, though the two sides conducted low-level and sporadic peace negotiations for much of last year.

"The government categorically rejects the Nairobi accord because it was not associated with the discussions in any way. It is not a real accord, rather it's a series of grievances from the two armed groups which hold the country hostage," Communications Minister Georges Adrien Poussou told Reuters.

Central African Republic has been gripped by violence since the Seleka rebelled and seized power in March 2013. The group was forced to stand aside last year having failed to contain clashes with the 'anti-Balaka' and other violence.

The Seleka occupies much of the north and an interim government is struggling to assert its authority. France has started withdrawing some of its troops from the country, as a U.N. force, due to reach 10,000 by the end of April, deploys ahead of elections due later this year

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

An airliner.Libyan carrier Buraq Airlines said on Wednesday it had suspended all flights for two days after one of its air crews was killed in an attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli.

It gave no details but a Libyan official has said a French national had been identified by his work identity card for the airline. Libyan websites said a crew of three were killed

Libyan carriers have struggled to keep the country connected to neighboring states since fighting between factions vying for power in Libya damaged Tripoli's main airport last year, causing foreign airlines to pull out.

On Tuesday, gunmen stormed the luxury Corinthia hotel, one of the last large hotels in Tripoli still open, killing around nine people, among them five foreigners.

"Buraq Airlines informs that all flights will be halted in the next two days due to reasons out of our control," the airline said on its Facebook website.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

AirAsia.The French first officer of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls just before the accident, Indonesia's lead investigator said on Thursday.

The Airbus A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

"The second-in-command, popularly known as the co-pilot, who usually sits to the right of the cockpit, at the time, he was flying the plane," said National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) investigator Mardjono Siswosuwarno, referring to first officer Remi Plesel.

"The captain, sitting to the left, was the pilot monitoring."

Data from the black box flight data recorder has provided the accident probe with a "pretty clear picture" of what happened in the last moments of AirAsia flight QZ8501, Siswosuwarno said, although few details have been made public

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Turkish Airlines and Middle East Airlines have resumed flights to Baghdad.Turkish Airlines and Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA) resumed flights to Baghdad on Thursday after halting them earlier in the week when bullets hit a plane as it was landing in the Iraqi capital.

Samir Kubba, the head of Iraq's civil aviation authority, told Reuters a flight from Istanbul had landed and another from Beirut was expected shortly.

An MEA official and the Turkish Airlines website confirmed that both carriers, which provide daily flights to Baghdad, had resumed service.

At least seven airlines suspended flights to Baghdad following the shooting incident.

Dubai Aviation Corp, known as flydubai, Emirates Airlines, Sharjah's Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways suspended flights in line with a directive from the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation authority

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