Iraq’s Kurdish people voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Iraq, with over 92 percent of the voters opting for an independence referendum, the Kurdish region’s election commission released in a statement. Voter turnout was more than 72 percent.

However, many of the Kurds are now facing being stranded after the Baghdad government in response to the vote, ordered international flights to halt service to Kurdish airports beginning on Friday. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has backed off the previously threatened use of force but has said that the government will take other measures to keep his country from breaking apart as the situation is set to worsen.

Despite such strong support, however, the non-binding vote was unlikely to lead to formal independence, even as it escalated long-running tensions with Baghdad. Iraq and its neighbors, along with virtually the entire international community, oppose any redrawing of the map.

The vote was held across the autonomous Kurdish region’s three provinces as well as in some disputed territories controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.