Better check your tickets. The Government of Iraq has confirmed it will move ahead with its international flight ban over the Kurdistan Region on Friday. Baghdad has demanded the Kurdistan Region hand over control of the airports and borders. In response, the KRG has said it prepared to talk, including allowing members of the Iraqi civil aviation authority to be stationed at its Erbil and Sulaimani airports. Most airlines have already sent out notifications that their flights will stop operating in Kurdistan until further notice.
Despite that, results for the referendum were announced yesterday, with the Yes vote winning with 92.73% of the vote. The No vote stood at 7% and turnout was 72% of eligible voters. Kurdish leadership has said this gives them a clear mandate to negotiate independence with Baghdad.
Lastly, the Iraqi parliament has asked foreign missions to leave the Kurdistan Region as well as for Iraqi troops to be deployed to disputed areas under Peshmerga control. This was part of 13 decisions taken by the Parliament yesterday. The passport network connection between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad has also stopped for three days, halting the issuance of passports, but this is allegedly due to technical issues.