State Department orders non-emergency personnel to leave Iraq posts

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By Phil Helsel

The U.S. State Department said early Wednesday that it has ordered “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil.

“The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is extremely limited,” the statement said. The State Department has also warned citizens about traveling to Iraq.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Sunday tweeted that it was advising “all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.”

That warning urged U.S. citizens to not travel to the country, to avoid places known as gathering places for U.S. citizens, and to keep a low profile.

Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and American interests.

Associated Press contributed.

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