Commercial traffic at the capital's only airport was halted again on Sunday as London-based Global Strategies Group pressed for the Iraqi transport ministry to pay up.
  
Iraqi Airways director Adil Ali told journalists that US troops were currently stepping in to ensure security.

But he said the soldiers temporarily guarding the airport's perimeter passenger checkpoint would turn it back over to the Global Strategies Group at 0500pm.

Airport closed

Ali confirmed the facility would remain closed to passenger traffic throughout the day but added that authorities in Baghdad had agreed to pay the British company after drawn-out talks.

In reference to the strike, Ali concluded that the security firm "should have given us prior notice".

But according to the company statement, Global staff failed to turn up for work again "due to unresolved commercial issues between Global Strategies Group and its client, the Iraqi ministry of transport". It did not specify the amounts of money owed.

Iraq's transport ministry spokesman referred all calls to Iraqi Airways, the national flag carrier.