Iraqi military moves to take control of Kurdish borders

On Friday, Iraq also imposed a ban on global flights into its Kurdish region, ordering foreign airlines to suspend travel to the airports in the cities of Erbil and Sulaimaniya.

Kurdish leaders insist the referendum was legitimate and that they now have a mandate to start negotiations with Baghdad and neighbouring countries.

The move to seize the border post was a response to a Kurdish referendum, Monday (9/25/2017), resulted a vote in favor of secession from Iraq.

Left without a state of their own when the borders of the Middle East were redrawn after World War I, the Kurds see themselves as the world's largest stateless people.

"We won't have a dialogue about the referendum outcome", Mr Abadi told parliament.

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Iraqi Kurdistan is home to a large worldwide community, most of whom enter on a visa issued by the regional authorities that is not recognised elsewhere in Iraq.

What do the Kurds say?

Officials said the airports were already subject to the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority and that any restrictions would affect the battle against so-called Islamic State (IS).

Rather, the United States sees its deep investments in ties to Iraq potentially being wasted by Iraq losing its regional significance with Kurdish independence.

All foreign flights will stop at 6:00 local time (15 GMT) according to airport director, Talar Faiq Salih.

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"So this airport is meant to be for everything", he said.

How have Iraq's neighbours reacted?

The United States is among several global players that have publicly opposed the Kurdish vote to secede from Iraq, with regional powerhouses Turkey and Iran saying they'll halt trade with the Kurdish region.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, "From now on, our relationships with the region will be conducted with the central government, Baghdad".

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri received his Iraqi counterpart Major General Othman al-Ghanmi, who was in Tehran at the head of a military delegation. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the Kurds should instead accept the alternative of engaging in negotiations with Baghdad, and that those talks be facilitated by the USA, the United Nations and other partners.

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