US issues security alert ordering non-emergency staff to depart Iraq

The US State Department has issued a security alert and ordered staff to evacuate Iraq amid escalating tensions with neighbouring Iran. The alert posted on the US embassy in Iraq today read: “The U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees from Iraq, both at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil.  Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq.”