Flights Over Iraq Restricted by U.S. FAA Due to Conflict

The Federal Aviation Administration restricted U.S. airlines from flying at or below 30,000 feet over Iraq because of dangers posed by fighting in the country.

A notice issued by the agency yesterday also bans flights to and from Iraq’s Erbil and Sulaymaniyah international airports.

The alert follows the July 17 downing of a Malaysian Air passenger jet over a Ukraine, killing all 298 on board. The U.S. has said the plane was struck by a surface-to-air missile, probably fired from an area controlled by rebels receiving assistance from Russia.

The FAA notice cited “the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Iraq.” A previous FAA notice had restricted flights at or below 20,000 feet (6,096 meters).

Some airlines already have been avoiding Iraqi airspace amid concern that Islamic State militants, who have taken control of portions of the country, may have anti-aircraft missiles. Air France-KLM Group is among those that have curtailed flights.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Blum in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Gordon at Don Frederick

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