U.S. State Department urges citizens to leave Iraq immediately
The State Department is urging U.S. citizens to leave Iraq immediately.
This announcement comes after President Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Iranian military leader, Qasem Soleimani, Thursday.
The State Department tweeted, "Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately."
#Iraq: Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately. Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy. pic.twitter.com/rdRce3Qr4a— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) January 3, 2020
Officials also warned that citizens "should not approach" the Baghdad embassy and that all consular operations are suspended, "due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound."
According to CNN, the Green Zone in Baghdad, which includes the U.S. Embassy, was completely locked down by Iraqi security forces to prevent any emergency following the strike.
The death of military leader Qasem Soleimani has prompted an increase in tensions that pit Tehran against the U.S. and America's Gulf Arab allies in the region.