Gulf Air announced that all flights to and from the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Najaf would be suspended as of Friday, January 3, until further notice due to the security situation in Baghdad and at Baghdad International Airport. Further flight cancelations are possible over the near term.
The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3, claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW). According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals.
Individuals flying via Gulf Air are advised to monitor the situation and confirm flight reservations.