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FAA issues emergency restriction of US flights over Iran, Iraq

| Updated: January 12, 2020 14:15:25

FAA issues emergency restriction for Gulf airspace

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued emergency restrictions for the Gulf airspace, as Washington-Tehran tensions are escalating.

The FAA said in a statement that it has issued notices to airmen "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."

A notice to airmen is a notice filed by an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight, reports Xinhua.

"The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East," said the statement.

"We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with US air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities."

The announcement came as the Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that Iran had launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq.

"It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel," the Pentagon said in a statement.

US President Donald Trump "has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team," according to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

A US airstrike carried out in Iraq last week killed senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, a move that has sparked outrage in Iran which has vowed to retaliate.

The international community is calling for utmost restraint from relevant sides to avoid further escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

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