Home World News Tension mounts as Washington orders US government employees to leave Iraq

Tension mounts as Washington orders US government employees to leave Iraq

President Donald Trump

The US State Department on Wednesday ordered the departure of “non-emergency government employees” from Iraq, the US embassy in Baghdad said in a statement.

Referring to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil, it said “normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq.”
The statement recommended those affected “depart by commercial transportation as soon as possible”.

The US military on Tuesday reaffirmed its concerns about possible imminent threats from Iranian-backed forces to its troops in Iraq, who were now at a high level of alert.

Earlier in the day, a senior British commander in the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State remnants in Iraq and Syria said there had been no increase in the threat from Iran-backed militia.

British Major General Chris Ghika appeared to contradict increasingly heated warnings from Washington, where officials say they see a growing threat from Iran.

Loading...

President Donald Trump

Iran says the U.S. is waging “psychological warfare” and a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has said Iran would retaliate against any aggressive U.S. moves. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Tehran does not seek war with the United States despite mounting tensions over U.S. sanctions, Iranian nuclear capabilities and its missile programme.

The U.S. military’s Central Command offered a clarifying statement after the remarks by Ghika, the coalition’s deputy commander for strategy and information.

“Recent comments from (the coalition’s) Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Central Command.

Urban said the coalition, which also operates in Syria, had increased its “force posture level” – terminology that can often refer to the alert levels meant to safeguard troops.

“(Operation Inherent Resolve) is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq,” Urban said, referring to the coalition’s mission against Islamic State fighters.

Ghika was initially unequivocal when he asserted that there was no new threat from Iran.

“No, there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. We are aware of their presence clearly and we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that is the environment we are in,” Ghika said initially.

He later declined to reaffirm that statement, when pressed by reporters.

The United States has sent an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East in a show of force against what U.S. officials have said is a threat to U.S. troops and interests in the region.

You might also like…Mzansi Celebs Love Snapchat’s Gender Change Filter

Snapchat’s new filter is causing plenty of hysteria on social media and South African celebrities are leading the way.

Pearl Modiadie

Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you transitioned to another gender? Well thanks to Snapchat’s new filter, a lot of other celebrities who have been wondering have gotten the opportunity to find out: and the results are hilarious…Read more here

Source: IOL

Are you looking for a new job?

Are you unemployed and want a new job? Or maybe you have a job already and want to find greener pastures? We have all these amazing Job Listings just for you. Take a look and find that amazing Job Today.  – See All Listings
Loading...