The development comes after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where the US military is stationed in Iraq. (Photo Credit: ANI)
New Delhi :
Hours after Iran targeted Iraqi airbase in the country's west where the US and coalition forces are based, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that it has restricted all civilian US aircraft from operating in the airspace over Iran, Iraq, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The development comes after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where the US military is stationed in Iraq.
"The FAA issued Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) tonight outlining flight restrictions that prohibit US civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We will continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with US air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities," the agency said in a statement citing CNN.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines said that it was diverting all flight routes from Iranian airspace.
According to Iranian state TV, the attacks were in revenge for the killing of the commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike on Friday, which was ordered by President Donald Trump.
The Ain al-Asad airbase came after pro-Tehran factions in Iraq had vowed to join forces to "respond" to an American drone strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad last week. This came hours after the leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard threatened on Tuesday to "set ablaze" places supported by the United States. Hossein Salami made the pledge before a crowd of thousands gathered in a central square in Kerman, the hometown of the slain Gen Qassem Soleimani.
Qasem Soleimani, the popular head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm, was killed in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on Friday, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes.
“At approximately 1730 EST on Jan. 7, Iran launched at least a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military & coalition forces in Iraq,” US Department of Defence tweeted.
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran & targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military & coalition personnel at Al-Assad & Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” it added.
President Trump has been briefed and is monitoring the situation, officials said. We are working on initial battle damage assessments, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said confirming the Iranian missile strikes. Hoffman said in recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defence has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard its personnel and partners.
With PTI Inputs