Celebrations in Kurdistan after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani declared the region had voted ‘yes’ to independence.
He called on world leaders to respect the outcome of the referendum.
However, Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, says the vote, which was held in defiance of the government in Baghdad, was unconstitutional and announced measures were being taken…
‘‘One of the decisions taken by the council of ministers today was to take control of the border crossings, both land and airport, in the (Kurdish) region as well as in federal Iraq. The national security council had issued this decision before, but today the council of ministers made it obligatory. And this includes all the border gates and the suspension of all external flights from and to the (Kurdish) region, including the flights to and from the airports of Irbil and Suleimaniyah”, said the PM.
Ankara said Turkey was also considering punitive measures, which could see food supplies to Iraqi Kurds cut.
It joined the US, a number of European countries and Iran in speaking out against the vote, describing it as destabilising during the fight against ISIL.