In the early morning hours of 8 January 2020, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fired more than a dozen rockets at Iraq’s Ain Al Asad Air Base (ORAA/IQA) — which also houses U.S. troops — located approximately 190 km (120 mi) northwest of the capital Baghdad in Al Anbar province. The IRGC issued a statement claiming responsibility for launching the surface-to-surface ballistic missiles against the airbase in retaliation for the U.S. targeted killing of IRGC-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani on 3 January. U.S. officials later confirmed that the missiles had been fired from sites within Iran. U.S. and Iraqi officials stated that there were no reports of casualties resulting from the attack.
Following the Iranian rocket attacks, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a series of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) prohibiting U.S. civilian aircraft from overflying Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman until further notice. It is currently unknown at what time the FAA might lift these prohibitions.
Meanwhile, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Russia’s Rosaviatsia aviation authority advised their respective commercial airlines to avoid overflying the same areas. Additionally, Air France and Lufthansa airlines have suspended all flight operations over Iraqi and Iranian airspace until further notice. A number of other airlines — including Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines — announced that all flights over Iranian airspace would be rerouted until further notice. Other carriers — including Bahrain’s Gulf Air and EgyptAir — have also temporarily suspended flights to and from Baghdad, Iraq