FAA bans flights over Iraq amid US airstrikes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is barring U.S. airlines from flying over Iraq after U.S. military officials launched airstrikes in the region on Friday.


“Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict between militants associated with the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant and Iraqi security forces and their allies, all flight operations in the Baghdad flight information region ... are prohibited until further advised,” the agency said in a Notice to Airmen that was issued Friday morning.

President Obama announced on Thursday evening that he had authorized the military to conduct targeted airstrikes to aid Kurdish fighters and refugees under siege from militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

U.S. officials said the first strikes were conducted early Friday when two F/A-18 fighter jets dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Kurdish regional capital of Erbil in northern Iraq. 

The FAA said that its prohibition on flights over Iraq applies to all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators.