FAA Places Emergency Restriction Over Persian Gulf After Iran Fires Missiles

January 7, 2020 Updated: January 8, 2020
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency restriction over the Persian Gulf airspace following a missile attack on Iraqi bases.

The emergency restriction “prohibit[s] U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman,” the agency said on Tuesday night.

“The FAA,” the statement added, “will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with U.S. air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities.”

The U.S. Department of Defense released a statement to confirm that Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two bases that hold American troops.

“Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” the Pentagon said. “In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”

It’s not clear if there were any casualties.

The statement came after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said via Iranian state-run media that missiles were fired in response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was the chief of the Guards before his death.

“In Operation Martyr Suleimani in early hours of Wednesday, tens of ground-to-ground missiles were fired at the U.S. base and successfully pounded the al Asad base,” the statement read, according to a translation.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham’s office said in a statement on Twitter that the Trump administration is “aware of the reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

Aside from the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was informed.

“Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war,” she wrote on Twitter.