State Department Orders Non-Emergency Personnel To Leave Iraq Amid Iran Tensions

On Wednesday the State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees from Iraq, amid increasing tensions with Iran and warned US citizens not to travel to the country, citing a “high risk for violence and kidnapping.”

The department said in a statement that employees working in the US embassy in Baghdad and the US consulate in Erbil were instructed to leave Iraq, and that “normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts.” It added that American Citizens Services employees who were working in the embassy in Baghdad “will continue to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Basrah.”

The department said the sudden changes were because the US government’s “ability to provide routine and emergency services to US citizens in Iraq is extremely limited” and that as a result, the threat of “terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict” aimed at Americans in the country was too great a risk.

State Department Orders Nonessential U.S. Government Employees Out Of Iraq


Editorial credit: Mark Van Scyoc /