US Military Says They Don’t Need Iraqi Permission for Certain Flights

Coalition had previously promised to accept new Iraqi limitations

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi sought, and got, assurances from the US-led military coalition on the use of US warplanes in Iraqi airspace. The centerpiece was an end to “unauthorized flight,” and to coordinate with the Iraqi government.

That seemed to be an easy resolution, but now the US military is insisting that they don’t believe they need Iraqi permission for certain operations, including evacuations of casualties but also air support operations.

The US might find it possible to sell the emergency evacuation of casualties without advanced permission as necessary, but providing air support for ground operations clearly is a pre-planned effort where there would be time to give Iraq notice.

This is probably only going to add to Iraqi concerns about the US, because what was couched as acceptance now seems to boil down to the US military arguing that they’re going to keep operating as they had always been, and will argue that is compliance.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of