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The State Department orders non-emergency personnel to leave Iraq under Iranian tensions



The ministry said in a statement that US Embassy officials in Baghdad and the US consulate in Erbil were instructed to leave Iraq, and that "normal visa services in both locations are temporarily suspended".

American Citizens Services employees working at the embassy in Baghdad "will continue to provide consular services to US citizens in Basrah."

The Department said the sudden changes were due to the "limited ability of the US government to provide routine and emergency services to US citizens in Iraq" and, as a result, the threat of "terrorism, kidnapping and armed The Americans' risk in the country was too high.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was unannounced in Iraq last week as tensions with Iran escalated.

While there, Pompeo said he had talked to Iraqi officials "about the importance of Iraq to ensure that it can adequately protect Americans in their country".

US officials have told CNN that the US had "specific and credible" intelligence agencies Proposed Iranian forces and plenipotentiaries were planning to attack US forces in places like Iraq. This intelligence service led the Pentagon to recommend the transfer of a carrier strike group to the region.

The State Department also said Wednesday that Americans "should not travel to Syria through Iraq to engage in armed conflict," as they may be exposed to similar threats in Syria and "legal risks" from both the US and US also be exposed from Syria.

Foreign Ministry orders come a day after the US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East, in a statement that the Pentagon has increased the threat to US troops in Iraq and Syria.

The US Central Command, in coordination with the Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the operational readiness for all OIR members in Iraq and Syria. As a result, the OIR is now at high alert. "Watch credible and potentially imminent threats to US forces in Iraq," US Central Command spokesman Bill Urban said in a Tuesday statement from the US-led military coalition British IS Major Chris Ghika has stated that there is no heightened threat from Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria.

Ryan Browne and Jamie Crawford of CNN contributed to this report.


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