Dust storms have become a frequent phenomenon with an increasing frequency in Iraq during the past two months, with their occurrence almost weekly.
Since mid-April, Iraq has witnessed at least 10 dust storms, which experts attribute to climate change, lack of rain and desertification, according to Sky News Arabia.
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 days From summer fifty degrees Celsius.
In the early morning hours, the sky of Baghdad was covered with a layer of dust, which reduced the visibility of a few hundred meters.
And the management of Baghdad International Airport decided to suspend flights.
The airport's media office stated that "the airport administration issued a notice to passengers and airlines operating at the airport to stop air traffic for this day", "due to the weather conditions and the visibility of the 400-meter range."
The dust storm forced the authorities in Najaf Governorate, south of Baghdad, to close the city's airport for a few hours before returning to work again.. Najaf Airport, which includes important religious headquarters, receives millions of visitors from different countries of the world annually.
In May, dust storms that struck Iraq caused one person to die and thousands to suffocate.
In an interview with the Iraqi News Agency, the Director General of the Technical Department of the Iraqi Ministry of Environment warned of the increase in sandstorms, especially after the number of dusty days increased to "272 days per year for a period of two decades." He predicted, "It will reach 300 dusty days a year in 2050."
Increasing vegetation cover and planting dense trees that act as windbreaks are the most important solutions needed to reduce the rate of sandstorms, according to the ministry.
In early June 2022, Iraqi President Barham Salih called for the need to work to confront climate change, saying, "Tackling climate change must become a national priority for Iraq, and there is no room for inaction, because it represents an existential threat to Iraq."