India on Wednesday issued a travel alert asking its citizens to avoid a non-essential trip to Iraq as Iran carried out missile strikes on US-led forces in Iraq. In retaliation for the US drone attack on an Iranian commander, Iran’s attack, whose assassination has increased the possibility of war in the Middle East. India’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Given the current situation in Iraq, Indian citizens are advised to avoid all non-essential travel until further notification.” He said, Indian citizens living in Iraq are advised to be vigilant and they can avoid traveling within Iraq.
The Foreign Ministry said in the advisory, “Given the current situation in Iraq, Indian citizens are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification.” Indian nationals living in Iraq are advised to be vigilant and avoid traveling within Iraq. It said that our embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil would continue to work normally to provide all services to Indians living in Iraq. Government sources say that India has warned all Indian carriers to avoid their airspace in view of tensions in Iran, Iraq and the Gulf region. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that we have held meetings with the airlines concerned and made them sensitive to be vigilant and take all precautions.
Let me tell you that many Indians work in Iraq in construction sector. Even the US Aviation Authority has banned its civilian flight operators from using airspace in Iraq, Iran and the Gulf. Hours earlier, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles, targeting at least two US targets in response to the killing of Qasim Soleimani in a normal drone strike. Apart from India and America, Singapore has also refused to fly its aircraft in Iraq’s airspace. In view of security, many more countries can take this decision.