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State Department Orders Non-Emergency US Gov't Employees to Leave Iraq

Sputnik News

10:57 15.05.2019(updated 11:41 15.05.2019)

The order comes just a day after the US Central Command stated that the coalition forces in Iraq had been put on "a high level of alert" due to possible imminent threats to them.

The US State Department ordered the departure of "non-emergency government employees" on Wednesday, the embassy in Baghdad said in a statement, recommending those affected "depart by commercial transportation as soon as possible".

"Normal visa services at both posts [the embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil] will be temporarily suspended. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq", the diplomats said.

Washington earlier increased its military presence in the Middle Eastern region amid growing tensions with Iran, sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf.

Despite this the US-led coalition's deputy commander, British Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika noted earlier this week that the threat level by Iranian-backed groups against coalition forces in Iraq has not risen recently.

Sputnik



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