Major airlines avoid Iraqi skies after US airstrikes

The Federal Aviation Administration bans all US civilian flights over Iraq, just hours after air strikes ordered by Washington on Islamist fightersInternational airlines steered clear of Iraq on Friday after Washington banned American air carriers from Iraqi skies in the immediate wake of US air strikes on Islamist fighters. Flights to and from the Gulf and beyond, which typically would have taken airways through Iraq, favored parallel routes via Iran instead, according to real-time flight tracking websites. Flightradar24.com indicated a long stream of airliners Friday evening Middle East time, flying single file through western Iranian — and virtually none over Iraq, in a complete reversal from a month ago. “We’re still seeing some non-US carriers that are overflying Iraq,” notably regional and domestic ones, added Daniel Baker of US-based FlightAware.com.

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