India Advises Nationals To Avoid Travel To Iraq

Hours after missile attacks targetted two military bases in Iraq, India on Wednesday issued a travel advisory for its nationals, advising them to avoid “all non-essential travel” to the Middle East country, in view of the prevailing situation in the region.

“In view of the prevailing situation in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification. Indian nationals residing in Iraq are advised to be alert and may avoid travel within Iraq,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

In a follow-up tweet, Kumar said that the Indian Embassy in Baghdad and Indian consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq.

The advisory was issued after Iran’s missile attacks on the Ain Al-Asad airbase and another at Erbil in Iraq early on Wednesday which came hours after the funeral of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, whose killing in a US drone strike has intensified tensions in the region.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation also held meetings with the concerned airlines and sensitised them to remain vigilant and take all precautions, the regulatory body said.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet late on Tuesday that an assessment of casualties and damage from the strikes is underway and that he will make a statement on Wednesday morning (local time).

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that it was restricting all civilian US aircraft from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.


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