Tillerson: US does not recognize Kurdish independence vote in Iraq

Deadline approaches for Iraq's Kurds to hand over control airports

Turkey stops training Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga after independence vote

Meanwhile, Iranian and Iraqi central government forces are to hold joint military exercises near their borders, Iran's state television reported yesterday, as part of Tehran's effort to support Baghdad after the Kurdish independence referendum.

"From now on, our relationships with the region will be conducted with the central government, Baghdad", he said.

Bawa Murad said that he was told by journalists that the Iraqi government was planning to deploy some officers to the Kurdish airports.

"All escalation should be avoided", Macron said in a statement released after a telephone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Why has Baghdad issued an ultimatum?

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In Iraq, where they make up an estimated 15-20% of the population of 37 million, Kurds faced decades of repression before acquiring autonomy in 1991.

Official results showed that 92.73 percent of voters backed statehood in Monday's non-binding referendum, with turnout estimated at 72.61 percent.

Meanwhile, Iraq's military is preparing to take control of the global borders of the northern Kurdish region. Faeq also said that the airport was always under the supervision of Iraqi civil aviation, and complied with all instructions from Iraqi authorities.

It went on to say the people of Iraq should avoid "anything that might harm the national unity of Iraq's communities".

Iran also closed its borders and stopped flights to Iraqi Kurdistan airports.

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"We also call on the Iraqi government and the political powers represented in parliament in all their decisions and steps to take into consideration the preservation of the constitutional rights of our Kurdish brothers", it added.

How have Iraq's neighbours reacted?

Turkey fears that the emergence of an independent Kurdish state on its border will stoke separatist feeling in its own Kurdish minority. That could result in a key pipeline from the Kirkuk region, which provides the KRG with more than 80% of its income, being cut off.

"A military exercise joint between iranian armed forces and units of the iraqi army will take place in the next few days along the common border", said to journalists the spokesman of the iranian armed forces, Massoud Jazayeri.

The United States, which was "deeply disappointed" that the referendum was held, has urged both sides to "engage constructively".

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