Internationale Flüge nach Irakisch Kurdistan eingestellt
The Iraqi government cut autonomous Kurdistan's direct air links with the outside world indefinitely on Friday, partially isolating the northern region after it voted a massive "yes" in an independence referendum.
The move increases the pressure on the Iraqi Kurds amid soaring regional tensions following Monday's non-binding but deeply contentious vote.
Washington said it did not recognise the "unilateral" referendum and urged all parties to reject the use of force and engage in dialogue.
"The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
The central government in Baghdad had ordered the halt to all foreign flights to and from the autonomous Kurdish region from 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Friday.
Foreigners scrambled to fly out of the region's capital Arbil and its second largest city Sulaimaniyah before the ban took effect.
Iraqi Kurdish transport minister Mawlud Bawa Murad told AFP at Arbil airport that the ban would "negatively impact all international businesses in the Kurdistan region, in addition to all civilians, from all nations".