The State Department has ordered all non-emergency staff stationed in Iraq to leave the country immediately as credible threats of attack from Iran continue.
@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 State Department urged staff to take the following actions in an official security alert:
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
Ahead of a surprise trip to Baghdad last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters it is his job to keep diplomats and U.S. Embassy personnel.
"As the Secretary of State I have a responsibility to keep the officers that work for me safe each and every day, all around the world. That includes in Irbil and Baghdad, in our facilities in Oman, all around the Middle East and so anytime we receive threat reporting we do everything we can both to do all that we can to make sure those planned or contemplated attacks don't take place and to make sure we have the right security posture. The American people should know, we've done that," he said.
Capitol Hill is paying close attention.
URGENT: 1/5— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 15, 2019
These actions are not the prelude to a U.S. attack against #Iran
There is clear & persistent evidence,supported by observable movements on the ground,that Iran’s proxy forces in #Iraq & #Yemen plan to attack Americans with the intent of inflicting mass casualties https://t.co/NqQB3R8tXD
URGENT: 2/5 #Iran’s #IRGC has spent years building the capability to attack us using proxy forces. They believe they can inflict casualties on the U.S. without international condemnation because world will see it as the actions of independent Shia groups instead of Iran itself— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 15, 2019
URGENT 3/5:— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 15, 2019
The also believe that our internal political divisions combined with the legacy of the #IraqWar will lead a substantial % of Americans to doubt #Iran’s role in such attacks or blame Trump. & they have built propaganda capability to spread narrative in social media
URGENT 4/5: The idea @POTUS is creating a pretext to start war with #Iran makes no sense. While I may not agree with him on it, @realdonaldtrump wants to wind down U.S. military presence in Middle East, not expand it.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 15, 2019
URGENT 5/5: We can debate whether designation of #IRGC provoked all this. But right now Americans serving us in #Iraq are facing a serious & imminent threat. #Iran need to know that if they are attacked a UNITED States of America will respond decisively— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 15, 2019