MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's national airline plans to restart flights to Iran and Iraq after halting service to the Shiite-led countries at the height of anti-government unrest last year.

Gulf Air said Wednesday it will operate flights to Baghdad, Erbil, Najaf and Basra in Iraq, and Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran starting next month.

Bahrain is a small Gulf island nation ruled by a Sunni monarchy. It is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

The country's majority Shiites, inspired by Arab Spring protests elsewhere, rose up against the ruling dynasty last year. At least 50 people have been killed in the unrest.

Gulf Air halted flights to Iran and Iraq in March 2011, citing "operational reasons." It continued to fly to several predominantly Sunni countries in the region.