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Air France suspends flights through Iraq/Iran airspace

Air France suspends flights through Iraq/Iran airspace
January 08
11:14 2020

Air France says it suspended its flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace after missile attacks on US military bases in Iraq.

The attack was in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iranian general, at Baghdad international airport, last Friday.

The Pentagon said the attack was carried out on the order of  President Donald Trump to deter “future Iranian attack plans”.

It added that Soleimani was killed because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”.

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Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, had vowed to avenge the killing, saying “harsh revenge awaits the criminals” involved.

In a statement on Wednesday, the airline said the decision to suspend its flights in the air zone was made in order to ensure the highest level of flight safety.

“Flight plans are adjusted in real-time according to the decisions of the French and regional authorities, throughout the world, in order to ensure the highest level of flight safety”, the statement read.

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More than a dozen missiles launched from Iran struck two air bases in Irbil and Al Asad, west of Baghdad.

It is unclear if there have been any casualties, but the Iraqi military said there were no casualties from its forces.

“Between 1:45 am and 2:15 am (2245 GMT and 2315 GMT) Iraq was hit by 22 missiles, 17 on the Ain al-Asad air base an five on the city of Arbil. There were no victims among the Iraqi forces,” the Iraqi military said.

Iran’s supreme leader described the attack on the bases as “a slap in the face” of the US.

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