POLITICS

FAA Bans U.S. Commercial Flights Over Iran And Iraq

The flight restrictions, which included airspace over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, came after Iran launched an attack on military bases in Iraq.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced new flight restrictions in the Middle East late Tuesday following Iran’s attack on military bases in Iraq that housed U.S. soldiers.

The administration temporarily prohibited U.S. commercial airlines from flying over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The FAA said it was “closely monitoring” events in the region and “coordinating with our national security partners.” 

In a notice to U.S. airlines, the FAA said the restrictions were due to “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification.”

The flight prohibitions came mere hours after Iran attacked at least two bases in Iraq, which were hosting American military forces. Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles, according to the Pentagon. No deaths of U.S. military personnel had been reported as of late Tuesday.

The attack was meant as retaliation against the U.S. after President Donald Trump ordered an American drone strike to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week, dramatically escalating tensions between the two countries.

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