By John Lee.
A source at Mosul Airport has told Reuters:
"Security forces closed Mosul airport without giving any reason. All flights are cancelled.
"To begin with [the authorities] said there was information about a hijacked plane, and then they said it was closed for maintenance purposes, but there are no maintenance works."
The closure affects flights to and from Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, as well as daily internal flights between the northern city and Baghdad.
The security source said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had ordered the airport closed, though no one was immediately available for comment from the premier's office.
The governor of Nineveh Province, Atheel Al-Nujaifi, criticized the decision. He told Asharq Al-Awsat:
"It seems that the government in Baghdad has more important concerns than the success of the province of Nineveh, or its security and economic stability ... there are parties who do not want us to work on the development of the infrastructure of the province."
(Sources: Reuters, Asharq Al-Awsat)