Airlines Suspend Flights to Iraqi City of Irbil

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -

Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and other airlines on Friday canceled flights to and from the northern Iraqi city of Irbil after U.S. airstrikes on Islamic militants.

Germany’s Lufthansa and subsidiary Austrian Airlines said the suspension would continue through Monday, while Turkish Airlines said it has halted Irbil flights until further notice.

Turkish Airlines said it stopped the flights for security reasons after U.S. jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants who were towing artillery outside of the Kurdish regional capital near U.S. personnel. The U.S. airstrikes targeted the extremist Islamic State group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Turkish Airlines’ flights to other Iraqi cities were not immediately affected, the company said.

Lufthansa said it already was avoiding Iraqi airspace on flights transiting between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

In a statement Friday, British Airways said it was temporarily suspending flights over Iraq “and will keep the situation under review.”