U.S. diplomats on Saturday warned that airliners flying over the Persian Gulf may risk being “misidentified” in the midst of tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
American diplomats in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates relayed the order Saturday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to The Associated Press.
The warning comes while there are heightened tensions following the Trump administration sending a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the region while warning of possible conflict with Iran.
The FAA Notice to Airmen, which was published on Thursday in the U.S., said commercial planes flying over the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman must be aware of “heightened military activities and increased political tensions.”
The situation present “an increasing inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or mis-identification,” the notice stated. It added that aircraft could experience GPS interference and other communications jamming “with little to no warning.”
Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, said it was in contact with authorities worldwide but that “there are no changes to our flight operations” at this time, according to the AP. Qatar Airways and Etihad also said their operations were unaffected.
U.S. officials have reported that there were “clear indications” that Iran, through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or backed forces, was preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces, ABC News reported, with the administration sending bombers and a strike group to the region.
President Trump has sought to backtrack on his rhetoric on Iran, saying Thursday he hopes the U.S. does not go to war. But on Friday, during a speech in Washington, D.C., he went off on news reports about his administration’s approach to Tehran, pushing back on reports of conflict between his top aides.
“[Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo is doing a great job. [National security adviser John] Bolton is doing a great job. They make it sound like it’s a conflict,” the president said in a speech to the National Association of Realtors.