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US orders withdrawal of non-emergency staff from Iraq

ANI  |  Middle East 

The on Wednesday ordered all non-government employees to immediately.

"@StateDept has ordered the departure of non-USG employees from Iraq, both at the Embassy in and in Erbil," the tweeted.

In a statement, the Embassy said has "limited ability to provide services to the US citizens in "

"Normal at both posts in and Erbil will be temporarily suspended," it added.

The decision came amid reports of rising tensions in the after the warned of potential threats against American forces in the region from or Iranian-backed proxies, the Voice of reported.

Last week, the US deployed an and nuclear-capable bomber planes to the Persian Gulf, with a Patriot missile battery and an amphibious warship on the way. The Patriot system offers protection from aircraft and missiles, while the warship carries Marines and the aircraft, hovercraft, or boats needed to put them ashore to fight in distant places.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday rejected a report that he is considering sending 120,000 troops to counter Iran, but did not rule out deploying "a lot more" soldiers in the future.

The move also comes after US paid a surprise visit to last week after abruptly cancelling a scheduled trip to citing "pressing issues."

According to CNN, Pompeo met Adil Abd al-Mahdi, and other senior officials in his four-hour visit to the country.

Shortly after his meeting in Baghdad, Pompeo said that he deliberated officials about the "importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country."

"They both provided assurances that they understood that was their responsibility," he said.

"They understood too it's important for their country. We don't want anyone interfering in their country, certainly not by attacking another nation inside of Iraq and there was complete agreement," the top US said while making a veiled reference to

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 18:54 IST