US bans civilian flights over Iraq hours after airstrike on jihadists
The Federal Aviation Administration today banned all US civilian flights over Iraq, just hours after airstrikes against jihadists.
Washington: The Federal Aviation Administration today banned all US civilian flights over Iraq, just hours after air strikes ordered by Washington on Islamist fighters.
In a Notice to Airmen, the FAA cited the "potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict" between Islamic State militants and Iraqi security forces and their allies as the reason for the indefinite ban.
The ban extends to "all US air carriers and commercial operators," as well as US-licensed pilots unless they are flying aircraft registered in the United States for a foreign operator.
Northern and eastern Iraq lie on the flight path for several non-American long-haul carriers operating between Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to online flight tracking services.
Concern about civilian flights over conflict zones soared after the 17 July downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur above an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatist rebels.
Turkish Airlines, one of the key foreign carriers flying to Iraq, said it had halted flights to the main city of Iraq's Kurdish region for security reasons amid the Islamist offensive. "Our flights to Arbil are being cancelled for security reasons until further notice," the airline said in a statement.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways yesterday also announced a suspension of flights to Arbil, while Britain has urged citizens living in parts of Kurdistan to leave.
US warplanes earlier bombed positions held by Islamic State insurgents who have advanced to take swathes of northern Iraq. Last month, the FAA prohibited US airlines from overflying eastern Ukraine in the wake of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy.
It also briefly barred them from Tel Aviv after a Hamas rocket fell near the Israeli city's Ben Gurion airport in the midst of the Gaza crisis.
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The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a US service member
Airbus estimates its 863 planes delivered in 2019 will emit 740 million tonnes of CO2 in approximately next 22 years
As a point of comparison, France is estimated to have emitted 441 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019.
Witnesses told local media they saw the plane struggling to turn around and get back to the airport before the aircraft exploded