Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon reopen airspace closed over Iran attack on Israel

Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon reopen airspace closed over Iran attack on Israel
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon reopen airspace closed over Iran attack on Israel

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Crews work on an Israeli Air Force F-15 Eagle in a hangar, said to be following an interception mission of an Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel, in this handout image released April 14, 2024. — Israel Defence Forces handout via Reuters

BAGHDAD, April 14 — Iraq reopened its airspace today hours after suspending all air traffic as neighbouring Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, the Iraqi aviation authority announced.

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Jordan, which neighbours Iraq as well as Israel, and Lebanon also reopened their respective airspace on Sunday having earlier closed them, as did Israel which said the Iranian attack had been “foiled” with most launches intercepted overnight.

The Iraqi civil aviation authority announced in a statement “the reopening of the airspace” and resumption of flights to and from airports across the country, saying there were no longer any “security risks to civilian aircraft”.

Kurdish media in northern Iraq reported that Iranian drones had flown over the autonomous Kurdish region overnight.

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In Jordan, civil aviation commission chief Haitham Misto told the official Al Mamlaka channel: “The Jordanian airspace has been reopened and the situation has returned to normal.”

Samer Majali, CEO of flag carrier Royal Jordanian, said on Sunday that the airline’s flights “have resumed,” though some delays can be expected.

Lebanon’s Transport Minister Ali Hamie told AFP that “we have resumed flights since 7 am (0400 GMT), and we’re monitoring the situation.”

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The international airport in Beirut “has resumed its work,” he added.

Israel, which had closed its airspace since 12:30 am (2130 GMT on Saturday) in anticipation of the Iranian attack, had reopened it by 7:30 am (0430 GMT), the Israeli airports authority said.

However, Austrian Airlines told AFP on Sunday it had suspended “all flights to Tel Aviv in Israel, Arbil in Iraq and Amman in Jordan with immediate effect” due to “recent developments in the Middle East”.

“There will be no flights to or from Tel Aviv, Arbil and Amman” until Monday, spokeswoman Sophie Matkovits said, adding that “the safety of personnel and passengers” was the company’s top priority.

The airline also said a previously announced suspension of flights to Tehran in Iran would remain in effect until Thursday.

Long-haul flights passing through the Middle East will also be rerouted, it said.

Several international airlines have suspended or redirected flights in recent days to avoid Iranian airspace. — AFP

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