The State Department announced this morning that all non-emergency WHOA: U.S. orders non-emergency personnel out of Iraqgovernment employees from the embassy in Bagdad and consulate in Ebril, Iraq have been ordered to leave Iraq as soon as possible:
JUST IN: State Dept. orders the departure of non-emergency government employees from the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate in Erbil, Iraq, and normal visa services to be temporarily suspended at both posts.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 15, 2019
Notice from the State Dept.:
@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
Emploees are being told to leave by commercial aircraft as soon as possible:
Actions to Take:
- Depart Iraq by commercial transportation as soon as possible
- Avoid U.S. facilities within Iraq
- Monitor local media for updates
- Review personal security plans
- Remain aware of surroundings
- Review the complete Travel Advisory for Iraq
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas
This move comes among increasing tensions with Iran:
US orders most diplomatic staff to leave #Iraq. Departure order applies to non-essential embassy and consulate in #Erbil and could be renewed in 30 days. Visa services for Iraqis suspended till then. Cites backdrop of what it calls increased threats by #Iranian proxies.
— jane arraf (@janearraf) May 15, 2019
Dems were accusing the president of trying to provoke Iran into war even before the announcement on removing personnel from Iraq:
In this interview @timkaine basically accuses the Trump admin of intentionally attempting to provoke Iran into some kind of military exchange as a pretext for war.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 15, 2019
And from Ilhan Omar:
This is chilling. Trump and John Bolton are openly laying the groundwork for another war.
The only thing we’re relying on to prevent this is Congressional authority and Donald Trump’s sanity. We can’t rely on the latter, so we need to move on the former. https://t.co/pP723mq20h
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 14, 2019