US moving its Iraq embassy staff to other cities

US moving its Iraq embassy staff to other cities
Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:08:37

Washington says it is relocating some of its embassy staff to other Iraqi cities due to fears about the saftey of Americans in the capital city of Baghdad.

The US is increasing security at its embassy in Baghdad, the State Department announced on Sunday, adding that some personnel will be moved out of the capital.

"Some additional US government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated - both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Arbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman,” the statement said. However, the “substantial majority” of embassy staff will remain in Iraq.

A US official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that less than 100 US Marines and other military personnel are being deployed to Iraq to reinforce security at the Baghdad embassy.

"The Embassy of the United States in Baghdad remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders -- supporting them as they strengthen Iraq's constitutional processes and defend themselves from imminent threats," State Department spokeswoman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, US citizens have been advised to limit their travel in five Iraqi provinces, including Anbar and Kirkuk.

On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered that the USS aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush be moved to the Persian Gulf in case Washington decides to use military force against ISIL terrorist in Iraq as reportedly requested by the Iraqi government.

ISIL insurgents managed to seize the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit with an estimated 7,000-strong force. On Friday, Iraqi volunteer fighters attempted to counter ISIL momentum near Muqdadiya, just 80 km (50 miles) from Baghdad's city limits.

The UN has announced that ISIL terrorists have carried out summary executions and rapes as the group battles to destabilize the country.

Once an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, the hyper-fundamentalist group active in Iraq and Syria fell out with the global terrorist network. It gained notoriety for its ruthless tactics, which include publicly crucifying and beheading those who are opponent to their heinous acts.


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