US orders all non-emergency personnel to leave Iraq

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The U.S. State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy and consulate in Iraq to leave the country amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

An advisory announcing the partial embassy closures warned of numerous terrorist and insurgent groups active in Iraq, including “anti-US sectarian militias” who could “threaten US citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq.”

The announcement was made in a security alert on its website early Wednesday morning. The alert also said that normal visa services would be temporarily suspended.

Americans in Iraq were instructed to avoid US facilities and leave the country by commercial transport as soon as possible.

“The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq,” a security alert said.

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