After the United States issued notices outlining flight restrictions, India has asked all Indian carriers to avoid the airspace of Iran, Iraq and the Gulf region. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that they held meetings with the concerned Airlines and have alerted them to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions.
India has also advised its nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification. Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) took to Twitter to advise Indians residing in Iraq to be alert and avoid travel within Iraq. However, Kumar said that the Indian Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq.
India’s advisory was issued soon after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued notices to airmen (NOTAM) outlining flight restrictions that prohibit US civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the water of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
“The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We coordinating with national security partners and sharing information with US air carriers and foreign civil authorities,” read the statement.
The situation is the Middle further escalated after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles were launched against US military and coalition forces in Iraq. US Department of Defence said that the bases were already on high alert due to Iran’s indication to attack US forces in the region. The US has not revealed the number of casualties yet but Iran’s local media reports claim that around 80 people have been killed in the attacks.
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” said Pentagon in a statement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Tehran took “proportionate measures” in self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Taking to Twitter, Zarif said that Iran targeted the base from where “cowardly armed attack” against citizens and senior officials were launched.