US issues warning on flights over Gulf airspace
The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued an advisory to US commercial airliners flying over the waters of the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to exercise caution as tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to simmer.
The advisory, issued by the FAA on Thursday and circulated late on Friday, said the warning came amid "heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region which present an increasing inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification."
Tensions have risen in recent days, with concerns about a potential US-Iran conflict. Earlier this week, the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad following attacks over the weekend on four oil tankers in the Gulf.
Washington has increased economic sanctions and built up its military presence in the region, accusing Iran of threats to US troops and interests.Tehran has described those steps as "psychological warfare" and a "political game."
On Friday, Iran said it could "easily" hit US warships. Iran and its proxies were suspected in acts of sabotage against vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on May 12. Pro-Iran Houthis have claimed responsibility for drone attacks against Saudi oil installations.