The US, Germany and Netherlands are limiting their non-combat misions in Iraq amid the growing concern that chances for an open Iranian-US conflict in the Middle East are increasing.
The US State Deparment has ordered all “non emergency” staff to leave the US embassy in Baghdad amid the growing tensions between the US and Iran.
According to an official comment on the situation, employees will leave the Baghdad embassy and the US consulate in Erbil. Furthermore, US citizens were advised to avoid US government sites in Iraq and leave the country “as soon as possible”. The Baghdad embassy pointed out that the US government “has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq.”
@StateDept has ordered the departure of non-emergency USG employees from Iraq, both at the Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil. Additional information on this alert can be found on the U.S. Embassy website at U.S. Citizen Services. https://t.co/iX96dAkyhT
— U.S. Embassy Baghdad (@USEmbBaghdad) May 15, 2019
The move followed the May 12 warning when the embassy noted “heightened tensions” in Iraq and called on US citizens there to “remain vigilant.”
All this came amid multiple speculations by mainstream media outlets and even US officials that Iran may have been preparing to attack US facilities and forces in the Middle East.
On May 15, Germany and Nertherlands suspended their military training missions in Iraq.
“The German army has suspended the training,” Germany’s Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said noting that there was “generally heightened alert, awareness” for soldiers currently operating in the region.
Separately, Dutch state broadcaster NOS said the Netherlands’ 50-person mission is halted “until further orders.”
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