BREAKING: U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Alerts American Citizens to “Depart Iraq Immediately”

The U.S embassy in Baghdad has issued an alert to American citizens to “depart Iraq immediately”

The alert reads:

Event:  Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, the U.S. Embassy urges American citizens to heed the January 2020 Travel Advisory and depart Iraq immediately.  U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land. 

Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice.  U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy. 

The U.S. Consulate General in Erbil is open for visa and American Citizen Services appointments, including passport issuance.  U.S. citizens in Iraq or those concerned about family in Iraq should contact the Department of State at +1-202-501-4444 or toll-free in the U.S. at 1-888-407-4747.

Actions to Take:  

· Do not travel to Iraq

· Avoid the U.S. Embassy

· Monitor local and international media for updates        

CNBC reports the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has urged American citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” after a U.S. airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, spiking tension in Iraq and the Middle East.

In a security alert issued Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy told citizens to “depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.”

The targeted killing of Major-General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has drawn promises of retaliation from Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that the move was a “foolish escalation,” while Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami was quoted by state news agency IRNA as threatening a “crushing revenge.”

Following attacks by Iranian-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, all public consular operations have been suspended until further notice, while U.S. citizens have been advised not to approach the Embassy.

Soleimani was killed by a U.S. military airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on Thursday, a move the Pentagon confirmed was directed by U.S. President Donald Trump.