US Evacuates Embassy in Iraq: All Non-Emergency Personnel Told to Leave Posts
Over the course of the last month, tensions have been ramping up between the United State and Iran. In early May, the US sent an aircraft carrier and bomber jets to the region. According to National Security Adviser, John Bolton, this was done, “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
The State Department has ordered all nonemergency personnel working in the Baghdad Embassy and the Erbil Consulate to leave the country entirely. They cite threats from possible proxy groups in the region, linked to Iran, who may target Americans.
Last week, Mike Pompeo claimed that the US had received intelligence that Americans may be in jeopardy. The Secretary of State said that the information revealed that some personnel could be at “substantial risk.”
Chris Ghika, a British Deputy Commander who is leading the coalition against ISIS disagreed with Pompeo’s assessment. He told reporters, “No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.”
The Pentagon countered Ghika by saying that his comments, “run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region.” They also added that all Americans currently in Iraq, “should be on high alert.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said earlier this week, “This is not a military confrontation because no war is to happen. We don’t seek a war nor do they. They know a war wouldn’t be beneficial for them.”