In light of the prevailing tensions between Iran and the US, India’s Ministry of External Affairs Wednesday advised its citizens not to travel to Iraq. It also asked Indian nationals in Iraq to be alert and avoid travel within the country. In the early hours of Wednesday, Iran attacked two US bases in Iraq, the Al-Asad and Taji air bases.
“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. Our Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said they have asked Indian airlines to remain vigilant and take all precautions in airspaces over Iran, Iraq, Gulf of Oman and waters of Persian Gulf. The aviation body, however, has not issued any formal instruction.
Iran’s missile strikes this morning were in retaliation to the killing of its top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said “the fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun”. An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later said any adverse military action by the US will be met with “an all-out war across the region”.
US President Donald Trump reacted to the strike saying “all is well”. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”