PARIS: A growing number of airlines said Wednesday they were avoiding Iranian and Iraqi airspace for flights to the region after Tehran fired ballistic missiles against bases housing US troops in Iraq. “As a precautionary measure and following news of air strikes underway, Air France has decided to suspend until further notice all flights through Iranian and Iraqi airspace,” an Air France spokesman told newsmen. Iran launched a series of missiles at bases housing US troops in the early hours, officials in Washington and Tehran said. Iran’s supreme leader called the attacks a “slap in the face” after a US drone strike killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad international airport last week. Shortly after the missile attacks, the US Federal Aviation Administration said it was banning US-registered carriers from flying over Iraq, Iran and the Gulf. Its Russian counterpart, the Federal Air Transport Agency, said it was recommending airlines avoid the air space over Iran, Iraq and the Persian and Oman Gulfs “due to information about current risks for safety of international passenger flights”.