US issues warning on flights over Gulf airspace

The FAA sees "increasing inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification."
Saturday 18/05/2019
logistics specialists prepare to attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. (US Navy via AP)
logistics specialists prepare to attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. (US Navy via AP)

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.

(With Reuters)