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Major airlines to avoid Iranian airspace after missile attack

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Major airlines to avoid Iranian airspace after missile attack
Germany-based Lufthansa is one of several international carriers that said it will go around Iranian airspace following a missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Several major international airlines announced Wednesday they will divert flights around Iranian airspace after a missile attack by Tehran that targeted U.S. bases in Iraq, and a government ban on American flights in the Persian Gulf region.

Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines and Qantas were among the carriers who said they will avoid Iranian airspace amid the escalating conflict between Iran and the United States.

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Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq early Wednesday where U.S. and coalition forces were stationed -- retaliation for a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad last week that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani.

Many air routes connecting Southeast Asia and Europe pass over Iran.

RELATED Boeing 737 crashes shortly after takeoff near Tehran, killing 176

Singapore Airlines said it is "monitoring the situation closely" and will make "appropriate adjustments to our routes if necessary." Taiwan's EVA Air said it had already begun avoiding Iran as a precautionary move.

Major U.S. commercial airlines do not fly over Iran, but the Federal Aviation Administration issued flight restrictions Tuesday barring U.S. civil aviation operators from airspace over Iraq and the waters of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

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"The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with U.S. air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities," the agency said.

RELATED Iranian missiles target military bases housing U.S. soldiers in Iraq

A Ukrainian Boeing 737 taking off from Iran crashed Wednesday near Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, killing all 176 people on board, Iranian state news media said.

The Ukraine International Airlines flight was headed for Kiev with 167 passengers and nine crew when it crashed near Parand, about 35 miles southwest of Tehran.

Iranian and Ukrainian officials said the crash was likely the result of a technical failure.

RELATED Joe Biden calls for diplomacy in dealing with Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump said he will respond to the missile attack Wednesday morning.

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