first published on May 15, 2019 by Will
The US State Department has ordered the evacuation of non-emergency US Government personnel from Iraq, to include those at the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate in Erbil.
The evacuation comes as tensions with neighboring Iran continue to escalate. Just days ago, Iran-backed Houthi insurgents struck a major Saudi pipeline with attack drones, and at least four ships were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including two Saudi oil tankers.
The US recently expedited a carrier group deployment to the region and increased the number of B-52 bombers present in regards to credible intelligence of imminent Iranian-led acts of aggression toward US forces and regional commercial interests. That intel is seemingly coming to fruition.
In addition to the departure of non mission essential US personnel, Germany and the Netherlands have suspended their operations to train Iraqi soldiers due to the heightened threat levels. However, France and the Czech Republic said they will continue with their missions in Iraq.
It remains to be seen if the US is deconflicting the battle space for open warfare with Iran, or if specific intelligence has detected imminent threats against US personnel by Iranian proxy militias operating in Iraq.