U.S. Orders All Non-Essential Embassy Staff to Leave Iraq

The State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave Iraq immediately as increasing tensions with Iran risk spiraling toward a potential military conflict. The alert was published on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq on Wednesday, and comes after the U.S. beefed up its military presence in the region in response to what it claimed were new and urgent threats from Iran and its allies. The notice ordered staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil to go leave the country “as soon as possible” using commercial transportation.