International flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish region will be suspended from today following a request from the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.

International flights to and from Iraq’s Kurdistan region were set to end from 6:00 p.m. (11.00 a.m. ET) on Friday, after the central government imposed a ban in retaliation for the region’s vote for independence.

Almost all foreign airlines suspended flights to the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniya, in compliance with a notice from the government in Baghdad, which has control over the country’s airspace.

The non-binding referendum – in which the Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Iraq – was billed by Kurdish leaders as an exercise in self-determination.