Amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, India on Wednesday issued an advisory to its nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification.
Indian nationals residing in Iraq have been advised to be alert and avoid travel within the country in the wake of Iran firing over a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases used by US forces in Baghdad.
Travel Advisory for Iraq
In view of the prevailing situation in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification. Indian nationals residing in Iraq are advised to be alert and may avoid travel within Iraq.1/2
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) January 8, 2020
The Ministry of External Affairs informed that the Indian Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Government has directed all Indian carriers to avoid airspace of Iran, Iraq and the Gulf following tension in the region.
The regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked all airlines in India to remain vigilant and take precautions in airspace over Iran, Iraq, Gulf of Oman and the waters of Persian Gulf.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday that it had carried out missile strikes on bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Meanwhile, Iran state television has said that at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in a series of missile strikes launched by Tehran on bases housing US troops in Iraq.
Iran’s attack, that came in retaliation for a US drone strike on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite Quds Force head General Qasem Soleimani, has raised fears of a war in the Middle East.
Pentagon had stated that at the direction of the US President, the military had taken the decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani.
Following this, Iran had vowed “severe revenge” on the US.