US State Department urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

UK urges Iraq KRG to maintain dialogue

Kurds turn on each other in wake of President Barzani's resignation

"We have raised the Iraqi flag over the border crossing with Turkey today and it is officially under the full control of the Iraqi government", said one of the officials, border police captain Ali Abdul Ilah.

The Iraqi government seeks control of all travel in and out of Kurdistan - part of a strategy to remove power from Kurdistan's autonomous government.

In Irbil's Bazar — where families thronged the streets and fireworks filled the skies during the days leading up to and following the vote — the mood slowly began to sour earlier this month after Iraqi troops led by Baghdad retook the long disputed and oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Its borders with Turkey and Iran, the Kurds' top trading partners, were also seized. Downcast, the long-time Kurdish leader blamed the central government in Baghdad for the regional crisis that followed the independence vote. Abadi has won backing from both Tehran and Ankara for his moves against the Kurds.

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He said "strong KRG is essential to Iraqi long-term stability and to enduring defeat of Islamic State".

On Sunday, weeks after it was clear that he had lost the bet, Barzani stepped down as president of the Kurdish semiautonomous region of Iraq, leaving the Kurds with no credible successor even as bickering parliamentary factions struggled to apportion his powers.

"As a Peshmerga, I will continue to be at the service of our people".

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Abdul Wahab Mohammed, who heads the Kurdish border intelligence, says "no Iraqis have entered or taken over" the Ibrahim Khalil crossing.

The referendum and ensuing dispute with Baghdad has also exposed deep rifts within the Kurdish leadership.

The handing over of the crossing to the Iraqi authorities came after talks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to resolve the conflict between the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurds.

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Iraq's entire Turkish border is located within the autonomous region.

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