Iraq has recently signed a deal with the United States to buy 18 F-16s
An F-16 Falcon overflies a military parade in July 2011. Iraq this month took responsibility for all of its airspace for the first time since the 2003 US-led invasion, the US embassy has said. © Luis Acosta - AFP/File
Iraq has recently signed a deal with the United States to buy 18 F-16s
AFP
Last updated: October 12, 2011

Iraq controls airspace for first time since 2003

Iraq this month took responsibility for all of its airspace for the first time since the 2003 US-led invasion, the US embassy said on Wednesday.

"On October 1, 2011, the US Air Force (USAF) transferred management of the Baghdad/Balad Airspace sector to the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA)," said an embassy statement.

"Iraq's air traffic controllers are now directing the movement of all aircraft within the area, the busiest and most complex airspace in Iraq.

"With this step, Iraq has assumed full air traffic control responsibility for the country's airspace for the first time since 2003," it added.

Iraq is currently weighing its options on a post-2011 US military training mission. The roughly 41,500 US soldiers still in Iraq are currently required to withdraw from the country by year's end.

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