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US-Iran tensions: Trump administration orders non-emergency embassy staff to leave Iraq

Ramped up tension with Iran Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies Erbil, Iraq , Baghdad May 15, 2019, 02.12 PM (IST)

The US State Department has ordered all non-emergency government staff to leave Iraq urgently amid escalating tensions with neighbouring Iran. 

An alert published on the website of the US embassy in Iraq said employees nationwide should depart "as soon as possible" and avoid American facilities in the country.

Referring to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil, it said "normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq."

The statement recommended those affected "depart by commercial transportation as soon as possible".