Amid escalating tension, Indian air carriers told to avoid airspace of Iran, Iran and Gulf region

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jan 08, 2020, 12.12 PM(IST) Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

Representative image. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Iran on Wednesday fired over a dozen ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq in retaliation to the US strikes at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. 

The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said that it has advised all Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notice. 

According to government sources, Indian airlines have been told to avoid the airspace of Iran, Iraq and the Gulf region due to the escalating tension in the said areas. 

"Indian nationals residing in Iraq are advised to be alert and may avoid travel within Iraq," MEA said as reported by news agency ANI. 

"Our Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq," it stated. 

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Singapore Airlines has also issued a statement communicating that all its flights to and from Europe will not fly over the Iranian airspace in the view of the latest developments in the region. The United States has also restricted all its civilian carriers from flying over the Gulf airspace. 

Iran on Wednesday fired over a dozen ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq in retaliation to the US strikes at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. 

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Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said that Tehran does not seek escalation or war but will defend itself against any form of aggression. 

"Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched," Zarif said today.

Meanwhile, a Ukranian airplane - a Boeing 737 plane, today crashed near Tehran's primary airport shortly after taking off for Kiev. 

The plane, which belonged to Ukraine International Airlines, crashed shortly after taking off Iran's capital city's Imam Khomeini airport due to some technical snag. All passengers on board, as many as 170, have been killed in the air crash.