Regional powers and Iraq’s central government threatened crippling economic sanctions and military action against Iraq’s Kurdish region on Tuesday, a day after Kurds staged a landmark vote for independence that is emerging as another crisis in a region roiled by civil wars and the fight against the Islamic State.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Kurdish leaders had committed “a strategic and historic mistake” by holding the referendum and gave them until Friday to hand over control of airports and borders in northern Iraq to the federal government. If the order is ignored, international flights to the Kurdish region will be suspended, Abadi said.
Abadi also said that any oil revenue from the Kurdistan region — a critical economic lifeline for the semiautonomous enclave — must be returned to Baghdad, though he did not set a deadline for the demands.
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