Due to the increase in tensions in Iraq and the region, the US embassy has urged its citizens to “leave” the country immediately, preferably by air
The US embassy in Iraq has activated the security alert in the area and urged US citizens who are in the country to leave it “immediately”, preferably by air and, in case it is not possible, which cross into border countries.
The US has issued the alert once it has taken responsibility for the attack with which it has killed General Soleimani, the powerful military chief and key man of Tehran, which has caused an escalation of tension in the region.
While the US has warned that, after attacks by Iranian – backed militias in the complex consular headquarters in Baghdad, all public consular operations are suspended and US citizens should not go near the embassy.
The US Consulate General in the city of Erbil is open for visas and appointments for US Citizen Services, including the issuance of passports.
According to the US Department of Defense, with the death of Qasem Soleimani, he sought to protect his staff abroad. Soleimani was the leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the country, which the US has designated as a terrorist organization.
“Flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty”
Meanwhile, Iraq’s resigning prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, condemned the attack. In a statement, he said that “carrying out account-setting operations against Iraqi leadership figures and a sister country on Iraqi soil constitutes a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty and an attack on the dignity of the country”.
He also warned that this action represents “a dangerous escalation that ignites a destructive war in Iraq, in the region and in the world”.
Sources reported that the vehicle in which the two ringleaders were travelling was targeted by the US Army on the international airport highway and the Pentagon confirmed shortly after the attack, which sought to “deter” Iran’s future plans against US interests in the East.
Adil Abdul-Mahdi also denounced that the attack contravenes the conditions and role of US forces deployed in Iraq, recalling that its task is to train Iraqi troops and fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, “under the supervision and with the Iraqi government approval”.
The prime minister, who presented his resignation at the end of November in the context of the crisis that is shaking Iraq, also offered his condolences for the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Soleimani, whom he described as “great symbols of victory against the IS”. The Popular Mobilization Forces played a leading role in the fight against IS in Iraq, where it was territorially defeated at the end of 2017, although its combatants are still present in some areas of the country and carry out attacks sporadically.
That armed group composed mainly of Shia battalions has acted under the command of the regular forces of Iraq, which in turn coordinate with the Americans to deal with extremists within the framework of the international coalition led by Washington.
However, the US blames the Kata’ib Hizbulá group, which operates under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces, for the fiery launching of projectiles and rockets against US interests on Iraqi soil in the past few months, which has led to an escalation of the tension that has culminated in this Friday’s attack.