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EgyptAir suspends flights to Baghdad following Iran missile strike on US base

Image of EgyptAir plane [Alf van Beem/Wikipedia]
EgyptAir plane [Alf van Beem/Wikipedia]

EgyptAir has announced it will suspend flights to Baghdad for three days due to the instable security situation in Iraq.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has said the decision is to ensure the safety of passengers and airplanes.

On Friday the US killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps elite Quds Force, in a drone strike outside Baghdad airport in a significant escalation of tension between the Washington and Tehran.

Yesterday, millions gathered to mourn Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman in Iran, with 56 killed and 213 injured in the crush, according to state TV.

After days warning of retaliation, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) last night targeted dozens of missiles at the Ain Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq.

READ: Trump has no idea what he has done by killing Soleimani

The air base is jointly operated by US and Iraqi forces.

The shelling is "merely the beginning of a series of revenge attacks with no deadline for when it ends," the IRGC said in a statement.

"We warn all allied countries of the US that if attacks are launched from their bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation."

On Tuesday US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the US is "not looking to start a war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one. What we'd like to see is the situation de-escalated."

Soon after the attack on Soleimani, Bahrain's Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Saudi Arabia's flynas cancelled flights to Baghdad.

Following the missile strike on the US base in Iraq, Emirates airline and flydubai have also cancelled flights to Baghdad.

Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and SriLankan Airlines have altered their routes to avoid Iranian airspace.

READ: Air France suspends air travel to Iran, Iraq

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AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptIranIraqMiddle EastNewsUS
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